So are we actually getting serious about cost-cutting in government? Given the colossal collapse of the Super-Committee here in the US and the dire prognosis coming in from standard-setting bodies about future budgets, I’d say yes. We’ve heard (if not seen) a lot of this before, of course. What’s new is the immediacy of the new fiscal imperative – however large any additional short-term stimulus will be, in the long run the resources available to government at all levels will diminish. Fulfilling agencies’ mission in this new budgetary environment means fewer external resources and reduced mission support. It also requires many more self-directed initiatives and a fundamentally different way of thinking at federal agencies. It may actual be harder than we think to come up with new ways of thinking about our classic problems. According to the latest Federal Viewpoints survey, only 59% of federal employees agree that they are encouraged to come up with new and better ways of doing things, which rates 12% lower than the private sector.