All too often we find ourselves in situations questioning why we do things the way we do and wondering how we could get better. In the business community this is a required practice and internal assessment is expected for delivering on shareholder value, customer service and product production. In government we find ourselves asking how we can serve our constituents the best, but we don’t always look within and align appropriately with what we are looking to deliver.
As we all know, these landscapes are highly different, but why couldn’t the processes mimic one another in specific instances? With constant administrative changes, political differentiation and an advancement system built on relationship, just how do you suppose this would work? It begins with creating a diverse and inclusive culture and surrounding our divisions with professionals that think differently and challenge the status quo. Helping our leadership understand that growth is uncomfortable and in order to effectively make enhancements we must adapt during times of adversity.
To get started, let’s look at four crucial business practices that should be applied in government.
Through eliminating systematic barriers and addressing bureaucratic barricades we can create a highly efficient internal system. By exploring lean options, coaching and training leaders on these practices and showing them what efficiency looks like, our government agencies can give our teams the tools they need to be successful.
By utilizing project management tools, assigning ownership, dates of completion and following up on commitments, we can begin to form an expectation around accountability. With technological advancements and the outlets for access to continual learning, there is no reason we should not be utilizing the tools that we have available to hold individuals accountable for work completion. Along with holding employees accountable, this practice gives our agencies the ability to create a system of recognition and trust amongst their fellow cohorts.
- Succession Planning
Frequently our agencies expose ourselves to vulnerability in leadership due to the lack of consistent succession planning. By including every leader, we could capitalize on their assessments, coach them along the way and ultimately identify backfills for critical positions. During times of continuous change, it is imperative that we are proactively planning for turnover and ensuring that we have the right person in the right place at these levels of influence and responsibility.
- Performance Management
Taking the time to understand how leaders and employees are motivated to achieve goals is essential in organizational and government progress. Identifying opportunities and capitalizing on individual strengths, gives each leaders the ability to gauge their level of understanding and the expectation for achievement. Through outlining key indicators for employees, agencies set a groundwork for their goals, visions and ultimately provide better service and programs to their constituents.
Efficiency, accountability, succession planning and performance management are only a few practices that would enhance internal government operations. To move forward and truly amplify systemic change, we must identify a place to start and do just that…..Start.
Time and time again we hinder our capacity for growth due to fear, lack of understanding, subjectivity and insufficient inclusion within our government systems. The time to embrace curiosity and set the bar for achievement is now and the current generation is demanding it. Everyone has the capacity to change culture and embrace the approach with these critical practices. Facing barriers, identifying solutions and creating a proposal to follow through, gives us the ability to deal with issues and enhance constituent experience.
It’s imperative for us to remember who we are serving and work with a sense of urgency and structure to deliver on actual commitments. Yes, commitments should be mandatory and expected from our government leaders. Lack of achievement is directly correlated to a lack of setting clear and concise goals.
Rebecca Stone was a fellow in the state of Missouri who holds 10 years of leadership, management, and sales experience.