In essence, the government has begun a three-pronged effort to create a new workforce. It is holding employees at all levels more accountable than ever, empowering those on the front lines to do their jobs better, and fashioning a new spirit of labor-management cooperation to replace a long-standing tradition of strife.
In tomorrow's federal workforce, as in the private sector, all will be challenged to do their jobs differently. The demise of hierarchical, command-and-control structures (and their replacement by leaner, flatter organizations) is dramatically changing relations among workers at the same levels and between levels. The new era demands more from everyone, but it also provides exciting opportunities for personal excellence and fulfillment.
No longer, however, can government continue to maintain a workforce of the same size. The public demands leaner government, good management principles demand it, and, anyway, the budget deficit has made workforce reductions inevitable. A smooth transition to a smaller workforce requires the cooperation not just of all employees, but of all agencies and of Congress.