Management approach is critical success factor for Presidents
The single most important responsibility for the executive of any enterprise, government included, is to optimize performance. Operating under constraints and with limited resources, the executive must transform resource inputs into required outcomes by applying the best combination of people and technology to perform work.
In my book, Smart Data, Enterprise Performance Optimization Strategy © 2010 James A. George and James A. Rodger, Wiley Publishing, Dr. Rodger and I explain this in detail using the Obama Administration as a case study.
Based on analysis of the Obama management approach, we were able to predict problems inherent in the administration including healthcare and homeland security.
Of course, no one could predict specific problems like the oil spill, though we could predict how the administration might respond to a disaster of this type and magnitude.
Selecting and deploying management people is a critical success factor
“It seemed in the month after the November 2008 election that President-elect Barack Obama was on a roll in naming top members of his administration. The first week of December, The New York Times declared that “Mr. Obama is moving more quickly to fill his administration’s top ranks than any newly elected president in modern times.” The roll, however, quickly halted.
It took until the end of April 2009 to get all 15 of President Obama’s cabinet secretaries confirmed. The past five presidents—Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush—all filled their cabinet faster by at least a month. Each cabinet department also has a deputy secretary, the second-ranking position. Four months into President Obama’s term, one-third of these positions had not been confirmed (or in some cases nominated). It was not until August 7, when Dennis Hightower was confirmed as deputy secretary of commerce, that all departments had confirmed deputy secretaries.
Early in President Obama’s second year, key positions remain empty. As members of Congress and the president attended to health care legislation, there was no confirmed assistant secretary for legislation at the Department of Health and Human Services. As of the end of March, President Obama’s nomination for that position, made in August 2009, was still pending. There was not even a nominee to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, though it was reported in late March that President Obama intends to nominate Donald Berwick for that job.”
Obama’s management approach
He is deliberate, brilliant, and thoughtful, though appears to be a one man band. That’s a big problem. Jimmy Carter, all over again.
With oil spill, White House struggles to assert control of the unknown
By Karen Tumulty and Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, June 6, 2010
In a time of crisis, no resource is so precious, or so perishable, as credibility. Last weekend, the Obama White House discovered that it had sprung another leak.
May 29, BP's chief operating officer, Doug Suttles, described the company's latest last-ditch maneuver to contain the Gulf of Mexico oil spill: hacking the gushing pipe at the bottom of the gulf, so that a cap could be installed over it. Twice, Suttles said that shearing the riser would have little effect on the size of the leak.
White House officials could not believe what they were hearing. The administration's own analysis suggested the opposite, that cutting the riser could increase the flow of oil by 20 percent, at least temporarily.
For weeks, federal officials had stood alongside BP executives at the briefings, reinforcing doubts about who was really in charge and putting the government in the position of vouching, by its mere presence, for BP's veracity. No longer. The White House informed BP that it was putting an end to the joint appearances.
The administration is now scrambling to reclaim control, the appearance and the reality of it, over a situation that defies both.”