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Archive: Federal government leadership

Why we can't just inspect our way to safer food

The government seems to think it can require, inspect and educate safe behaviors into the food chain. However, quality experts learned long ago that you cannot inspect quality into a product or service. I have been in too many government inspections in the Army and in other parts of the government where vehicles looked good but wouldn't run; where equipment didn't operate properly, but the operators could avoid the detection; where paperwork irregularities were explained away. Why were such things done? Simple: To avoid punishment.

By Lillian Cunningham | November 30, 2010; 04:07 PM ET | Comments (1)

The threat of politicized intelligence

If new US National Security Adviser Thomas E. Donilon needs a reminder of how stark the enemy threat is, he need look no further than today's discovery of printer cartridges rigged like explosive devices aboard UPS airliner cargo holds that left Yemen bound for Jewish Synagogues in the United States. A dry run? You bet. And not just to test the holes in air cargo security systems, but to test the reaction time and responsiveness of our national security apparatus.

By Lillian Cunningham | October 29, 2010; 05:47 PM ET | Comments (62)

Never leaving a fallen comrade behind

There's no clear-cut answer to preventing suicide among veterans, and we have a lot of work to do. But VA's suicide-prevention programs are beginning to save lives.

By Andrea Useem | April 14, 2010; 06:28 AM ET | Comments (7)

Cross-silo communication: All talk and no action?

From 'Christmas Day bomber' to Hurricane Katrina, we've learned that interagency communication. Yet few leaders in government or elsewhere are trained to make that happen.

By Andrea Useem | February 18, 2010; 05:35 AM ET | Comments (1)

Bob Gates, an unsung leader

While John Edwards shows us the worst of leadership, Defense Secretary Bob Gates shows us the best.

By Andrea Useem | January 21, 2010; 09:29 AM ET | Comments (0)

Good medicine for government 'diseases'

President Obama and his administration are pushing hard to improve government effectiveness, and the next step is to institutionalize a culture of project-management professionalism.

By Andrea Useem | January 8, 2010; 06:10 AM ET | Comments (3)

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