How agencies can deal with sudden policy changes

Wednesday - 3/21/2012, 11:47am EDT

Don Kettl, dean of the University of Maryland's school of public policy

Download mp3

Everything your agency does is, theoretically, based in public policy. But when something happens to change public opinion, that policy might change. Take the Gulf oil spill, for example. The government had a decades-long process for clearing oil companies to drill in that area. And it seemingly worked well for some time. But that all changed, in the relative blink of an eye. All of a sudden, partly because of a shift in public opinion, we had a new federal agency to regulate drilling. And federal employees involved in that process had to change the way they work. Don Kettle, dean of the University of Maryland's school of public policy, joined The Federal Drive with Tom Temin to review the management lessons you can use to deal with big and sudden changes like this.