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Comfortably numb…

Though being one of the best songs ever by Pink Floyd when Roger Waters was still with the band it should have little to do with how a business or for that sake the biggest administration in the world is run.

I don’t know if we should talk about a new world order but the current situation is unprecedented and our new President Obama is focused on changing how America is run to avoid a longer and deeper recession than necessary. Targeted spending in strategic areas married with a new modus operandi for how the business is run is his recipe. That is not a small task. What I think is most interesting about this whole new deal is not just the magnitude of spending that is being proposed but the measures on how to change how America is run.

Obama being quoted in USA today, “Our problem is not just a deficit of dollars. It’s a deficit of accountability, a deficit of trust,” Obama said at a brief news conference. “We can no longer afford to sustain the old ways when we know there are new and more efficient ways of getting the job done . . . Even in good times, Washington can’t afford to continue these bad practices. In bad times, it’s absolutely imperative that Washington stop them,” Obama said.

“So change and reform can’t just be election-year slogans. They must become fundamental principles of government . . . The appointment I am making today is one of my most important.”

Obama appointed the United States’ first Chief Performance Officer. That’s right a CPO. Nancy Killefer will work with the different cabinet departments to drive alignment and execution from all the people serving there. Yes government is people business. People not organizations perform.

Hiding is no recipe for changing and driving America no more. We can’t afford to be comfortably numb in this situation. We need leadership, accountability and action.

Is this appointment the start of a trend for other organizations? Will more organizations increase the focus on driving performance to thrive in these times? Will more organizations appoint CPO’s?

It is just great to see the American government start acting like a business focusing on driving performance. The worlds’ greatest companies all have a tremendous focus on aligned execution. The greatest companies have transparent systems where they can measure and thus manage the most strategic assets they have – the performance of their people. Full visibility requires real trustworthy data that these companies get from their talent management tools. Imagine the President having full visibility into how people are aligned on Americas goal with full transparency into what works and not all the way down to individuals performing or not…

Good luck Nancy Killefer!



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