Government Executive summed up the lessons all federal employees could learn from Kappos in three succinct sentences:
1. "Preparation Matters.
" Revamping an entire agency is a huge undertaking--undoubtedly, it cannot be done without extensive planning. A leader will not be effective if they do not know their organization inside and out, from day one. By all accounts, Kappos prior experience and immediate immersion into Patent and Trademark offices gave him a 360 degree view of what was happening--and what needed to happen--at his new office.
2. "Master the Metrics.
" All the planning in the world is worthless if you are not measuring progress. Kappos planned what he wanted to fix--the agency's paperwork backlog--before implementing ideas of how to do so. By September of last year, Kappos reduced patent filings from 700,000 to 669,625. This figure demonstrates to Kappos--and all Patent employees--that they are on the right track. The consistency of the decline will continue to be monitored to ensure that the progress does not halt.
3. "Change is Continuous.
" Effective leaders are never static, nor are they solely focused on one aspect of their organization. Kappos himself says: “You need to do it all. There is no one single thing that you have to do; you have to do a hundred things. Change is the sum of a lot of little things.” Is Kappos a key example of a good government leader? What workforce planning lessons can other federal agencies learn from his work at Patent and Trademark?