Spring 2013
Issue Map
The Public Manager

Technology and People Are the Lifeblood of Government

Friday, March 15, 2013

This first journal of 2013 examines social media in the government. While there were perceived and real barriers just a few years ago, federal, state, and local governments have jumped feet first into social media with Twitter feeds, Facebook pages, mobile apps, and virtual worlds.


This issue's forum not only explores the implementation and strategy behind social media in federal agencies, but also weighs in on the pros and cons of transparency and communication within agencies and with citizens. These valuable communication tools have given agencies new opportunities to engage and educate citizens, but also have caused some to pause at the time investment needed. In Scott Horvath's article about the U.S. Geological Survey's use of social media, you get a sense of the challenges that surfaced during implementation, the lessons learned, and the positive presence that social media gives to the agency. Samantha Wasserman tells the story of The National Highway Institute's virtual and social media solutions to travel restrictions, time constraints, and safety training. Andrea Sigritz writes about the HowTo.gov site that provides tools and best practices for the different social media platforms.

The Technology column explores the bring-your-own-device initiative, which is giving workers the ability to work where, how, and when they desire. The Exchange column delves into the teleworking success at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Human Capital Investment

This issue also examines the character of successful leaders, the importance of investing in and training employees, and the critical parts of a succession planning initiative.

According to Nan S. Russell, "Leadership is not determined by rank, responsibilities, or position. Knowing how to build influence and lead others, no matter what your role, is now a workplace necessity." Her Commentary article delves into how "titleless" leaders use conflict to get results.


The feature by Raymond Marbury and Roger Mayer analyzes the positives of investing in succession planning and examines knowledge management, the increases in cost and national security issues if agencies fail to plan for succession, and the need to merge the philosophies of the different generations working side by side in the workplace.

A Q&A with Deputy Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs W. Scott Gould focuses on investing in people and developing training to serve more than 300,000 employees. I'd love to hear how social media has helped or hindered your daily work, and the workplace challenges you face with different generations in the workplace. Send me an email at [email protected] or call me at 703.683.8134. Follow us @ASTDGov.

Paula Ketter
Editor, The Public Manager
[email protected]

About the Author

Paula Ketter is ATD's content strategist. Previously, she served as editor of ATD's periodicals.

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