On October 28, with little press fanfare, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) hosted what could have been a landmark event for the future of human capital management in government.
It was a roundtable at the Ronald Reagan Building, sponsored in collaboration with some high-powered allies – Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland. Sound like a must-attend? Forget it. This off-the-record event is by-invitation-only, according to Kennedy School Dean David T. Ellwood. The invitation list is limited to only a few dozen participants from the administration, the unions, and a selection of thought leaders from both the private and public sectors.
We’re told that the group will discuss, among other questions:
- What will the government workforce look like (ideally) in five and ten years?
- What are the government’s greatest human capital needs in terms of people and systems, and what are the barriers to achieving these?
- How can the government improve its recruiting and hiring practices?
It’s certainly good news that these familiar topics are getting aired by some pretty heavy-hitters in the HR business. As the press is excluded from the event, OPM can do its part by sharing the outcomes of the meeting with its community of practice, and by cranking the good ideas that emerge into what, so far, has been its very promising agenda for federal workforce development.