Have a Strat Plan for this, by creating Leaderless sub-organizations as in book Spider and Starfish
The Spider and the Starfish precisely describes the correct context for delegation, in its description of how to set a balance between leaderless and hierarchical organizations. HUD needs suborganizations that are leaderless, and task-focused. The difference between the hierarchical predecessor to Wikipedia, which had all of 70 articles before it shut down, and Wikipedia, shows the power of such task groups. There are many people who care and know a lot, in HUD, who would jump at the chance to spend even 1/2 hour per day in a task group like this. The Apache server concept is kept up by volunteers. There are many other examples of this.
In a way, this has already begun.
In May 2009, Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag put agencies on notice. Job satisfaction, he said, “needs to be built into the way we run government.” He made his comment at the Partnership for Public Service ceremony announcing agency rankings in the annual Best Places to Work survey. He followed through by including employee survey data and agencies’ efforts to improve their ratings in his agency-by-agency reviews for the fiscal 2011 budget cycle.
As a result, agency managers have been scrambling to figure out ways to improve employee satisfaction. Private-sector researchers have recently uncovered an approach that seems to work. Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer, in a recent Harvard Business Review article called “What Really Motivates Workers,” tell managers: “The key to motivation turns out to be largely within your control.”
Their advice? “Scrupulously avoid impeding progress.”
Amabile and Kramer surveyed more than 600 managers and then conducted a multiyear study of hundreds of knowledge workers, asking them to keep daily diaries to discover the top motivator of performance. Not surprisingly, managers and workers came to different conclusions.
Managers were asked to rank the impact of five workplace factors commonly considered significant motivators: recognition, incentives, interpersonal support, support for making progress and clear goals. “Recognition for good work” topped their list.
However, the recognition factor was ranked dead last by workers. The researchers found that workers ranked “support for making progress” as their No. 1 motivator. “On days when workers have the sense they’re making headway in their jobs...their emotions are most positive and their drive to succeed is at its peak.” However, “on days when they feel they are spinning their wheels or encountering roadblocks to meaningful accomplishment, their moods and motivation are lowest.”
In a close analysis of thousands of diary entries, Amabile and Kramer found that “making progress” was linked to 76 percent of employees’ reported “best days.”
What are the implications of those findings? Managers have a lot more control over motivating employees than they might have thought. “Create a culture of helpfulness.... Roll up your sleeves and pitch in,” the authors wrote. “Provide meaningful goals, resources and encouragement, and ... protect [your] people from irrelevant demands.” They conclude by saying, “Recognition can’t happen every day. You can, however, see that progress happens every day.”
Does that approach really work? Think about your best bosses. Weren’t they the ones who made it their goal to deal with the bureaucracy and irrelevant demands so you could deal with the work? Wasn’t it a great feeling to make real progress because your boss had cleared the way? Great leaders seem to understand that intuitively. For example, Gen. Colin Powell often said his job wasn’t only to clarify overall goals but also to sweat the small stuff so his staff could focus on the big problems.
It’s a new year. Try this shift in management emphasis. Ask your employees what gets in their way of making progress and try to do something about it. After a few weeks, take some time to see if your efforts have made a difference.
HUD is tied for last…..
Annual rankings of federal workplaces
Wednesday, September 1, 2010 It's something every worker can relate to: Your office isn't meeting its goals, customers aren't happy, there's turmoil at the top - and morale is plummeting.
It happens in the federal government, too, where agencies facing intense public scrutiny, shifting priorities and unstable leadership can see nose dives in worker satisfaction. Both the Securities and Exchange Commission, a critical player in this battered economy, and the Office of Management and Budget, the agency responsible for implementing President Obama's government reforms - hit the skids in the fifth "Best Places to Work" rankings, a closely watched report of federal employees.
The rankings account for the perceptions of more than 263,000 workers at 290 federal organizations. It is compiled by the Partnership for Public Service, a nonpartisan think tank devoted to promoting public sector careers, and American University's School of Public Affairs.
***The primary factor in job satisfaction, however, remains effective leadership from senior agency bosses***, the survey concluded. Over the years, senior leadership has scored low in the survey, and the Obama administration is no exception.
***The Department of Housing and Urban Development*** and National Archives and Records Administration ****tied for last among large agencies***.
The survey gave several examples of how an agency's leadership can affect results. The Federal Labor Relations Authority, stagnant during George W. Bush's administration, saw its scores more than double thanks to strong reviews for agency leadership. It earned the biggest year-to-year jump among small agencies.
Scores on the survey's 100-point scale ranged from an 81.8 for NRC to a 57.1 for HUD and the National Archives. The survey is emerging as an important management tool for agencies looking to spot trouble areas, said Partnership President Max Stier.
"Particularly in an environment like the government, where you don't have profit and loss statements and stock prices, this information becomes even more important," Stier said.
The partnership (which maintains a content-sharing arrangement with The Washington Post) compiled the rankings using data from the Office of Personnel Management's Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey. Agencies not part of OPM's survey asked workers to complete similar questionnaires.
To review the full rankings please visit www.BestPlacestoWork.org.
Where are the arts related goals for Community Development? Creative Community Builder's Handbook: How to Transform Communities Using Local Assets, Arts, and Culture [book]
HUD is not apparently including arts in its community development strategy. This is unfortunate, as there is lots of evidence that this is critical to CD success. Previous HUD publications on CD have at least given lip service to the arts; this needs to get good emphasis, in the Strat Plan.