A colleague raised this question when we were discussing an online group called Better Government. Naturally, we discussed politics first. Why not? It is the most advertised and hyped aspect of government. It is where citizens trust government to begin, with some thought to where it all ends.
Knowing better, we eventually turned to the subject of operating government–the realities of effectiveness and efficiency among a large workforce, and its vast shadow of contractors.
As we tossed the operations of government around, we concluded that, for the most part, the nature of government is bureaucratization, thickening of friction and fat, and that this “nature” drives out the potential in government operations–potential for human growth, innovation, and enhancements, and overall transparency.
Not wanting to leave the discussion on a negative, we tossed around the concepts of what might be a better government, if we can ever overcome this organizational “nature.”
Here’s our list of 7 Better Government characteristics:
1. Sustainable means of increasing employee engagement, concentration, awareness, and discretion to make enhancements.
2. Easily accessible and adaptive strategic analytics to optimize individuals’ and organizations’ performance throughout the chain of work transitions.
3. Testable phases of emergent capabilities to lower risks and costs while extending out to meet emergent customer needs.
4. Accurate and visible attribution of performance leaders and partners so as to reward courage, commitment, and creativity.
5. Robust forecasting of alternative actions in operations, with readily accessible analyses of potential returns on investments.
6. Periodic facilitation and coaching of teams to take on enhancements while on the job, and collaborating with shared knowledge of operations.
7. Technology fitting to employee productivity, including flexibility in accessing remote computing and communication across dispersed personnel.
This may be the same list that affects any large organization. Given that government is one of the largest and most complicated to manage, maybe our list of 7 should be the subject of political debates. Who can lead Better Government?
image credit: myfantasticescape.danoah.com
David Paschane, Ph.D. is the Government Editor of Innovation Excellence. He is an Organizational Architect from the Washington D.C area. He is an Associate Research Professor at UMBC; a Founder and Volunteer at Military Alumni Transition Career Headquarters (MATCH) and the Director of Strategic Initiatives at U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.