March 2016
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The Public Manager

What's the Plan?

The workforce has changed drastically in the last five years. New generations in the workforce and baby boomers retiring have made strategic workforce planning critical to any organization or agency. As you will read in the cover article about Brad Carson, he took his job as undersecretary of the Department of Defense (DoD) for personnel and readiness seriously by creating a detailed blueprint for how to rebuild the talent system at the DoD.

In his open and comprehensive discussion, Carson highlights the need to take cues from the private sector in its view of talent. "There's been a revolution in human resources in the private sector—in how they think about talent and the flexibility they've introduced into their systems," he says in the article. "How they identify talent. How they groom talent over time to take on leadership positions. How they train managers. I think some of their practices offer us, if not specific recommendations, at least a North Star to guide our personnel system."


What you also will find in this issue are four more articles linked to strategic workforce planning. In the Perspectives feature, you'll read about the myths surrounding workforce planning, the gaps you may find in implementing a plan, and a case study of how things are done at the U.S. Geological Survey.

As missions, workflows, and technologies evolve, so do the needs of your employees. The staff you have now will almost certainly not be the staff you need in the future. So what can you do know to make sure your future workforce will help your agency achieve its mission—whatever that mission may be? These articles will help you create your agency's plan. Don't wait to get started!

Paula Ketter
Editor, The Public Manager

About the Author

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

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