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Bridging the Gap between Politics & Administration (John Nalbandian)

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Slides for "Bridging the Gap between Politics & Administration" workshop by John Nalbandian. Presented at Winter 2014 NCLGBA Conference on December 10, 2014.

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Bridging the Gap between Politics & Administration (John Nalbandian)

  1. 1. Political Astuteness: Bridging the Gap Between Politics and Professionalism John Nalbandian University of Kansas Nalband@ku.edu
  2. 2. John Nalbandian www.goodlocalgovernment.org Objectives • Describe gap between political acceptability and administrative sustainability • Discuss politics as choices among conflicting values • Compare political and administrative values and perspectives • Identify translating and aligning roles for chief administrative officers and upper level staff
  3. 3. Staff Elected Hi Low Time Then Now Learning *Credit to John Arnold Potential for Misunderstanding Gap between Professional and Political Learning* John Nalbandian University of Kansas Political acceptability Admin Sustainability G A P
  4. 4. John Nalbandian www.goodlocalgovernment.org Values • RESPONSIVENESS = – Representation/Participation + – Efficiency/Professionalism + – Social Equity + – Individual Rights
  5. 5. John Nalbandian www.goodlocalgovernment.org Efficacy and Politics E f f i c a c y High Low •Representation •Efficiency •Social Equity •Individual Rights
  6. 6. John Nalbandian www.goodlocalgovernment.org Characteristics of Politics and Administration Characteristics Politics Administration Activity Game/allocation of values Problem Solving Players Representatives Experts Conversation “What do you hear?”  Passion  Dreams  Stories CAO and Senior Staff in the GAP “What do you know?”  Data  Plans  Reports Pieces Intangible: Interests and symbols Tangible: Information; money, people, equipment Currency Power (stories) Knowledge (deeds) Dynamics Conflict, compromise, change Predictability, cooperation, continuity Political acceptability Administrative sustainability
  7. 7. John Nalbandian www.goodlocalgovernment.org Facilitating Roles • Translate the logic of politics and administration • Bridge the gap between what is politically acceptable and administratively sustainable • Align – Staff priorities with governing body goals – Governing body and staff expectations
  8. 8. John Nalbandian www.goodlocalgovernment.org Summary • Bridging the gap is essential • Role of governing body is community building—”Honor the past, capture the present, shape the future” • Good politics is about values not right answers—stories matter • Value conflicts require compromise and negotiation if “cups” matter • Do not ignore any value over a period of time • Democratic process is “messy” • Politics/administration=ways of thinking • Role of translator/bridge builder is critical • Aligning governing body/staff expectations is crucial

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