USDA Forest Service
 

Enterprise Program

 
 

Enterprise Program
201 14th St. SW Yates Bldg.
Washington DC 20250-1108

United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Enterprise Program

United States Department of Agriculture USDA Forest Service Enterprise Program

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Forest Service’s Enterprise Program Gains Recognition

In 1997 Vice-president Gore and Chief Dombeck designated the PSW Region and Station as a Reinvention Lab to experiment with the concept of developing internal small enterprise businesses that would begin to create an internal market-driven economy and move the agency towards a more “businesslike” government. To date the Reinvention Lab has licensed nineteen (19) small businesses operated by Forest Service employees. After operating these businesses over the last several years the Lab is sponsoring an independent survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP to evaluate the tangible and intangible benefits the agency is receiving from this most innovative program. In the meantime this Forest Service program has gained invaluable recognition through various sources over the last several months.

In March of this year the Enterprise Initiative was selected as a semifinalist in the 2000 Innovations in American Government Awards Program. This was a significant achievement for the program as it was selected from a pool of over 1,300 program applicants. The Innovations in American Government Award Program is recognized as one of the most prestigious public-service award programs in the country and is sponsored by the Ford Foundation, and administered by Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in partnership with the Council for Excellence in Government. This Innovations Awards program recognizes federal, state and local government initiatives that are original and effective in improving the performance of government through results-oriented management and creative leadership. Winners of this award have the potential to win up to $20,000. The pioneering employees involved with this most innovative Forest Service enterprise program are well deserved in this recognition.

In addition to the abovementioned honored award recognition the Forest Service’s Enterprise Program was highlighted this year at the July, Excellence in Government 2000 Conference – CONNECTING CITIZENS SERVICES RESULTS. This conference is the premier public management conference dedicated to creating high-performance government. More than 1000 energized people seeking to learn more about change management programs attended this conference, which was coordinated by Government Executive, and sponsored in part by corporations such as VISA, IBM, Microsoft, American Management Systems and Arthur Andersen. The Forest Service through its enterprise program was one of many participating government agencies that presented innovative business approaches that this audience came to learn more about so they too could effect change in their organization. Mike Duffy, Director of the Reinvention Lab, participated on several business panels that presented ideas, lessons, and results generated as part of innovative government thinking. Of significant importance was a pre-conference workshop that Duffy participated in Entrepreneurial Government: Mastering the Business Ropes, which featured participating panelist from government enterprise activities such as the Franchise Fund Program and the Cooperative Administrative Support Units (CASU).

If recognition from these two significant events was not enough, the Forest Service’s enterprise initiative was examined as one of four case studies on entrepreneurial government organizations in a special report published in May 2000. This report written by Anne Laurent, Associate Editor, Government Executive, entitled Entrepreneurial Government: Bureaucrats as Businesspeople was sponsored by a grant awarded to Laurent on behalf of The PricewaterhouseCoopers Endowment for The Business of Government. This endowment fund sponsors research and facilitates discussion on new approaches to improving the effectiveness of government at the federal, state, local, and international levels. In her examinations Laurent asserts, “the proliferation of entrepreneurial organizations may augur the future role and shape of government.” Her report examines hurdles government enterprises must overcome, common characteristics of successful government businesses, and powerful arguments against entrepreneurial government. One insight Laurent offers is that “entrepreneurship offers an alternative organizing principle that could bridge the past and the future.”

If you would like to read this most intriguing report on the entrepreneurial activities of government visit www.businessofgovernment.org/pdfs/LaurentReport.pdf or contact the Enterprise Program Office.

US Forest Service - Enterprise Program
Last Modified:  Monday, 16 December 2013 at 14:19:28 CST