Clemons and Kroth would be very pleased if you stopped off at a local Barnes and Noble, or Borders to purchase your very own hard copy of Managing the Mobile Workforce. In the mean time, you can download your FREE desktop copy of Chapter 5 – Strategic Leadership in a Virtual World by clicking this link > <Clemons/Kroth Digital Free Copy>
In this chapter, the authors have focused on Creating Sustainable Competitive Advantage within a mobile workforce. This chapter includes an engaging interview with John Berry, director of the Office of Personnel Management, giving examples of why the mobile workforce is a high priority to him and the highest seat in U.S. government.
Here is a very small clip of what you will read within Chapter 5 :
Most people wouldn’t think “federal government” when asked to picture aggressive, cutting-edge management practices, yet—under John Berry’s leadership—that is just the direction it is heading. “When you look at the federal government of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries,” he told us, “it was essentially a paper-processing, regulatory, regulation-driven operation, primarily blue-collar, lower salaried employment place. That is no longer the case. It is not only the largest employer, it is probably the most complicated employer in the country, with challenges that range from financial regulatory systems that avoid the second Great Depression or third Great Depression— whatever might be out there—[to] combating terrorism that is both home grown and foreign grown, [to] dealing with cyber security.” Berry is insistently pushing and pulling, cajoling and suggesting, experimenting and visioning, and doing whatever is necessary “to make the federal government the model employer in the United States and OPM its model agency”.
OPM’s vision is that “The Federal Government will Become America’s Model Employer for the 21st Century.” Moving to a Results- Only Work Environment (ROWE)6, which we discuss in Chapter 6, is one way to give workers options. In a ROWE environment “people can do whatever they want, whenever they want, as long as the work gets done.” It’s a mobile workforce strategy: employees can work at home, on the road, or in the office—wherever they choose to do so.
That sounds pretty radical for government work, doesn’t it? Berry has set up a ROWE demonstration project in one of the federal agencies. If it is successful, it will open up opportunities elsewhere. Pilots— experiments, really—are a low-risk way to move an organization forward. According to Berry:
If we achieve half the productivity increases that the private sector has done with this—which is upwards of 40 to 50 percent—the taxpayers are going to be impressed. As long as we are putting solid results on the board, taxpayers will support it. We’ll be the first ones in the federal government to do this. I think this is the future, and it is all connected together. If we do this well, then flex-schedule, telework, women in the workplace, mothers in the workplace . . . all of these things start to dynamically change, and we end up with a creative workplace that is focused on delivering solid results that the taxpayers demand .