Congrats to Nancy Killefer, McKinsey director recently named to a newly created Chief Performance Officer role by the Obama administration.
It’s terrific to see top thinking in the private sector around performance and accountability brought to our government in a time when we are thinking about the need for tremendous investment that can’t just be frittered away.
Killefer will oversee the “line-by-line” scrutiny of the vast federal budget Obama mentioned frequently during his campaign.
What will Killefer’s priorities be? If McKinsey white papers are any indication, she’ll focus on improving transparency and reviving government productivity metrics. As Killefer and her colleague Lenny Mendonca wrote in a 2006 BusinessWeek column, the Bureau of Labor Statistics stopped measuring productivity in 1996. “We think a radical new approach to transparency of how government programs are performing is required,” the pair wrote in “Unproductive Uncle Sam.” “Only this will push Congress to exert performance pressure on government agencies.” They go on to suggest a Morningstar-like body called “Gov-Star” that would provide “completely independent measurement of government program performance.”
A government that encourages improved productivity through transparently and openly being accountable to its people is a lofty goal and I wish Nancy the best in her transition back out of the Firm and into the public service.