Troublemaker

Job Titles of the Future

Who: Barak Rosenbloom rosenbloomb@doleta.gov

Organization: U.S. Department of Labor, Seattle office

Age: 31

Has Held Title For: 2 years

Previous Title: Policy Analyst

Degree: MA, Public Policy

Barak Rosenbloom is your basic office nightmare: "I'm not afraid of anyone. I don't kowtow. I call it as I see it," he says. But as the Department of Labor's sole troublemaker, Rosenbloom doesn't just raise ire; he also works tirelessly to raise the department's performance to new levels. When he's not pushing the radical redesign of Welfare-to-Work programs, he's leading the development of new problem-solving tools.

What's a rabble-rouser like you doing in a government agency?

I came in to shake things up. And I did. Our division is very radical. We chose our boss through an election, and we're totally self-managed.

What kind of trouble are you stirring up these days?

I'm trying to shift the thinking about unemployed people who want training — from "people we do something to" to customers for whom we should bend over backwards to deliver high-quality products. That's a radical change for our system.

Any troublemaking guidelines?

First, trust yourself. Second, find allies and get regular feedback. Finally, work on the right things.

What's the worst trouble you've ever gotten into?

I stepped on the toes of a high-level career official. He reported me to my boss. Her response? "If Barak did something, he did it for a reason. I fully support him."

Who: Barak Rosenbloom rosenbloomb@doleta.gov

Organization:U.S. Department of Labor, Seattle office

Age: 31

Has Held Title For: 2 years

Previous Title: Policy Analyst

Degree: MA, Public Policy

Barak Rosenbloom is your basic office nightmare: "I'm not afraid of anyone. I don't kowtow. I call it as I see it," he says. But as the Department of Labor's sole troublemaker, Rosenbloom doesn't just raise ire; he also works tirelessly to raise the department's performance to new levels. When he's not pushing the radical redesign of Welfare-to-Work programs, he's leading the development of new problem-solving tools.

What's a rabble-rouser like you doing in a government agency?

I came in to shake things up. And I did. Our division is very radical. We chose our boss through an election, and we're totally self-managed.

What kind of trouble are you stirring up these days?

I'm trying to shift the thinking about unemployed people who want training — from "people we do something to" to customers for whom we should bend over backwards to deliver high-quality products. That's a radical change for our system.

Any troublemaking guidelines?

First, trust yourself. Second, find allies and get regular feedback. Finally, work on the right things.

What's the worst trouble you've ever gotten into?

I stepped on the toes of a high-level career official. He reported me to my boss. Her response? "If Barak did something, he did it for a reason. I fully support him."

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