Want to get a disgruntled worker really mad? Just point to his arch enemy: the civil servant. You know, the shiftless paper-pusher, fattened on our tax dollars, the epitome of “waste, fraud and abuse.”
What If We Ran The Government Like A Top 100 Brand?
What If We Ran The Government
Like A Top 100 Brand?
Dannielle Blumenthal, Ph.D.
September 19, 2013
*All opinions my own.
Civil Servants Are Seen As “Fat Cats”
Photo via Ann Arbor Animal Hospital
But The Reality Is Very Different
• Put our lives at risk to enforce the law
• Help people get services they are entitled to
• Call out fraud, waste and abuse
• Provide objective subject matter expertise
• Report faithfully for unglamorous but necessary
work of every kind
The System Is Obviously Broken
• Distrust: “Fewer Americans Than Ever Trust Gov't to Handle
Problems…49%” – Gallup.com, September 13, 2013
• Squandered Funds: “Federal Government Continues To
Lose Billions To Waste, Fraud and Abuse…$261 billion, or 7
percent of total spending…in 2012” – Rep. Darrell Issa, cited
in the Washington Post, March 13, 2013
• Demoralization: “Furloughs Only The Latest Blow To Federal
Worker Morale…„global‟ job satisfaction…declined to 63
percent (in 2012).” NPR.com, May 9, 2013
• Climate of Fear: “(At the Office of Special Counsel),
complaints alleging whistleblower reprisal and other prohibited
personnel actions surged by 15 percent to almost 3,000).”
Federal Times, September 10, 2013
Look At Us Through A Business Lens
• We don‟t serve the
• We don‟t think strategically
• We don‟t link spending with
• We don‟t manage our
• We utterly fail to
…Top 100 Brands Do!
(Because They Know How
To Run A Business.)
Screenshot via DesignBuddy.com
What If We Thought Of Ourselves
In Brand Terms?
• Mission-focused customer segmentation and prioritization
• Big-picture thinking, living strategies, organizational alignment
– No more “shelfware strategies”
– Conceptual targets, not numeric targets
– Continuous rebalancing to adapt to external reality; everyone‟s involved
– Eliminate factors that are causing the ship to sink
• From “cost center” to “revenue generator”
– Entrepreneurial thinking
– Financial literacy
– Project tracking and the “billable hour”
• “Human capital” not “human resources”
– Start with the right employee and develop them over the course of a career
– Isolate relevant skills and leverage, leverage, leverage
• Pervasive communication and collaboration
– Leaders spend at least 50% of work day communicating – no more “silence
– Physical visits and virtual gatherings to connect headquarters and regions
– Simple and universal communication and collaboration software
There Will Always Be Naysayers
• “Business is bad, government is good.”
• “You don‟t understand how government works.”
• “Our Agency is special.”
• “You‟re going to fire everyone.”
• “What you‟re proposing would ruin everything.”
But We Have The Best Brand In Town.
We Ought To Make The Most Of It.
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