Transforming Government: From Congress to the Cubicle
This is not a book about national policy or legislative initiatives, it’s about the management practices and behaviors that need to take place to transform government and strengthen its capacity to serve. These behaviors must begin at the top (Congress and the President) and then cascade to the offices occupied by leaders, managers, and staff members throughout government.
The US federal government is a government for the people. It has earnest intentions and is based on bedrock principles surrounding individual rights and freedoms. It has one of the best governance designs in the world to protect these rights. It is not corrupt, but it does lack significant accountabilities. It is inefficient, at times ineffective—and it needs to regain credibility. Fortunately, it is also fixable if its leadership chooses to act.
This book acknowledges government’s successes but is also critical of its performance and waste. It doesn’t waste valuable pages just being critical; it makes recommendations that will make a difference. Recommendations that will cause its leaders to stop kicking the can down the road and get meaningful things done for our country, like addressing the deficit, terrorism, tax reform, immigration reform, social insurance reform, prison reform, and more.
With a dramatic budget deficit, a government in need of program reform, total political dysfunction, and a drained workforce, a recipe for implosion is created. Americans deserve honesty and direction from their government leaders, leaders who must possess the courage to act with deliberation in the best interest of the American people.
But what do leaders do to become better at what they are supposed to do? How do they make decisions in the best interest of our country, put in extra effort to perform for customers, focus on America rather than self, change the complexity of how things get done, be accountable rather than diminish their role, stop kicking the can down the road, and take on the BIG challenges of our country in a more meaningful and collaborative way.
There is an important need to focus on the management practices and behaviors that will make our government more effective. That is the subject of this book. For the most part, these actions do not require any special policy or legislative change, just leaders, managers, and employees having the right intent, guidance, skill, energy, and commitment.
To address government transformation, this book begins by discussing the critical attributes people must possess to bring about transformation in government. It identifies necessary adaptations of leadership and what they must do. With that foundation established, this book considers the power of efficiency and effectiveness, including both definitions and methods for achieving them. In the second half of this book it addresses specific reforms necessary to support government transformation, including civil service, procurement, and technology management reform. Lastly, it makes some suggestions to the incoming Administration on Agenda items they should consider.
This book is written for Members of Congress, the President, agency leaders (both political and career), employees, and any others who believe their organization could benefit. The American public may read it to learn how government functions and to adopt supportive behaviors. It describes the challenges faced and recommends specific actions that can be taken to dramatically improve the government. I invite all to read, comment, add ideas, provide feedback, and, yes, try and implement some of the practices and behaviors that will contribute greatly to those things needed to make government efficient, effective, and credible. It’s time.
ALL proceeds from book sales go directly to the national charity organization, Homes for Our Troops.
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