the center, at universities, and by federal contractors (under contract with the center). Habermann’s paper notes that the number of employees at this center need not be large.
Although several possible remedies to overcoming the barriers to innovation were discussed by the workshop participants, changes in leadership and research programs were among the most commented on. Three other topics in the discussion were periodic review and feedback from users, innovation incubators, and the criteria for successful innovation.
The need to improve leadership was mentioned by many participants as critical to improving innovation, and some had specific ideas about how leadership can provide remedies to innovation barriers.
Robert Groves said that statistical agencies need to reexamine the existing boundaries between agencies. In particular, he suggested, leadership was needed so that the system could reconceptualize agency boundaries and the nature of collaborative activities between agencies, as well as the boundaries with outside entities. Noting that small and large agencies have different barriers and therefore different solutions, he said that one issue is how to systemically encourage coalitions and alliances.
Cynthia Clark (National Agricultural Statistics Service) observed that leadership is needed to develop policies that encourage the movement of staff between different organizations and that this would help break down some of the existing barriers between agencies.
Steven Landefeld (Bureau of Economic Analysis) stressed the importance of leadership in providing the correct incentives for innovative work and changing the incentives as conditions warrant. Since the federal statistical system is a decentralized one and likely to stay that way, he pointed out the need for more centralized leadership and direction. He extended the concept of incentives to advisory committees, noting that it is also important for advisory committees to have the correct incentives to maximize their usefulness. Landefeld stated that, although there is never going to be a Statistics USA centralized statistical system, in his view stronger leadership is needed at the top with the authority to make some decisions about priorities in the budget process and about cross-cutting priorities.
The need for incentives for outside researchers and for agency staff was also noted by John Eltinge (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
Clark noted the need to make greater use of cooperative agreements