Quote of the week
“We will never get what we want out of our government if its successes aren’t identified, celebrated and replicated.”
So the U.S. government may be (kind of) shut down, but guess what? Supporters of public servants decided to go ahead and celebrate their work anyway. I’m assuming it was a cocktail rather than a tea party kind of event…
It happened a week ago. Nine public servants from the U.S. federal government were handed out Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals (Sammies).
The Sammies are sponsored by the Partnership for Public Service. In handing out the awards, its CEO noted: “Smart, dedicated public servants are making contributions that change the world for the better every day, and it is especially meaningful that we happen to be recognizing them at a time when Congress has closed the doors on their great work.”
It will be interesting to see if the shutdown will have any long-lasting impact on how government is run. The issue is not really about cost, of course: it is about a narrative that says all government is slow, inefficient, and unable to respond effectively to the challenges it faces.
If that is the real challenge, then maybe we need to look for truly innovative answers that will not only improve outcomes, but change the way we address issues and solve problems as officials. It could also, of course, move us toward saving money as well.
In Ottawa yesterday, William Eggers of Deloitte, co-author of a new book called The Solution Revolution, spoke about how government can engage citizens and other sectors to achieve better outcomes.
The book, co-written with Paul Macmillan, warns public servants that they need to think about how to get things done differently. It actually lists four key strategies that government can pursue to leverage the power of citizens and other sectors.
You can read my interview with Paul, where he explains more on how government public servants can get better outcomes with the solution revolution, in the October edition of CGE.