Performance Consulting in Government

At the recent (2009) ASTD International Conference, I had some great conversations with a performance consultant in South Africa–Bill Sewell.  Bill was busy trying to tap into US Government contacts to find out our experience with performance consulting.  With South Africa’s transition to a new President (Jacob Zuma) and an effort to be more results-focused, he was looking at what lessons we may have learned in that arena.  Bill wanted to know what US Govt. organizations were doing with performance consulting.

And that question made me stop and think.  The track record of performance improvement within government, at least on a broad-based level, isn’t that impressive within the US.  Of course, the US Coast Guard, due to their initial involvement with Joe Harless and then Paul Elliott, has probably been doing performance across the entire organization longer than any other governmental entity in the US.  But the Navy dismantled their Human Performance Center (that was starting to do some great work by the way). Continue reading