Banishing Bureaucracy: The Five Strategies For Reinventing Government

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9780201626322: Banishing Bureaucracy: The Five Strategies For Reinventing Government

If you want to help your city save more without cutting service levels, as Indianapolis did; if you need to do more with half the staff, as New Zealand's state-owned enterprises did; if you want to double the effectiveness of your organization, as the U.S. tactical Air Command did read this book.In the pages of Banishing Bureaucracy, David Osborne, coauthor of the New York Times bestseller Reinventing Government, and Peter Plastrik, one of the most respected innovators to come out of state government in the past decade, provide a road map by which reinventors and political thinkers of all persuasions can actually make reinvention” work.Reinvention is not just another word for reform, nor is it synonymous with downsizing, or privatization, or simply cutting waste and fraud. It is about something much deeper, something tantamount to changing the very DNA” of public organizations so that they habitually innovate, continually improving their performance without having to be pushed from outside. It is about building an entrepreneurially minded public sector with a built-in drive to improve what some would call a self-renewing system.Obviously, this is complex work that requires careful strategy, and that is just what Banishing Bureaucracy provides. David Osborne and Peter Plastrik lay out what they call the Five Cs” for successfully reinventing public organizations:The Core Strategy, to help them create clarity of purpose.The Consequences Strategy, to introduce consequences for their performance.The Customer Strategy, to make them accountable to their customers.The Control Strategy, to empower organizations and their employers to innovate.The Culture Strategy, to change the habits, hearts, and minds of public employees.Drawing on a rich base of American and international case-studies, Banishing Bureaucracy delivers the battle-tested, strategic thinking that has proved itself around the globe, in every area of government from national to local, from defense to day care.

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About the Author :

David Osborne, managing partner of The Public Strategies Group, has served as an advisor to Vice President Al Gore, a consultant to America?s public sector managers and a counselor to leaders worldwide. He lives in Essex, Massachusetts.

From Kirkus Reviews :

An upbeat but unpersuasive advertisement for solving the problems of government through public management reform. Osborne, coauthor of the influential Reinventing Government (1992) and Plastrik (a political journalist and operative in Michigan) promote an entrepreneurial model of government in which agencies offer services, citizens are customers, and the rewards and perils of a marketlike environment improve the performance of traditionally inflexible bureaucrats. Implementation is to occur through five common-sense strategies: Clarify purposes (core), create incentives for employee performance (consequences), obtain feedback from service recipients (customer), empower people to do what is needed (control), and replace old habits with new commitments (culture). The result is a theory that would tempt a cynic to conclude that creating jargon is the key to reinventing government, to wit: As ``reinventors . . . uncoupled functions, they used the flexible performance framework metatool to incorporate the consequences and control strategies into their plan.'' The heart of the volume, however, beats in the numerous examples that introduce some substance into the discussion, and from Indianapolis city government to Minnesota schools, the US Forest Service, and national government in New Zealand, the authors provide real cause for optimism. Unfortunately, they also provide reasons to be skeptical. First, it is strange that they find no disadvantages to reinvention. In a world where trade-offs are more common than miracles, this raises a suspicion that we are not getting the whole story. Second, there is a troubling tendency to measure success in terms of management goals rather than policy outcomes. In Minnesota, for example, the criterion for applauding a voluntary school choice program is proliferation across school districts, not students receiving an improved education. There will be reason to cheer if transforming bureaucrats into entrepreneurs improves the results of public policy, but this conclusion depends on producing actual benefits to citizens, not enthusiastic cheerleading from management mavens. (Author tour) -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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David Osborne; Peter Plastrik
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