Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Shifting Down a Gear--Government Management

Gov. Executive has a post on the Obama administration's management efforts.  I'm reminded of the hill near which I grew up where tractor trailors would downshift (and downshift and downshift) as they hit the grade and lost speed.  Here the issue is accountability, seeing what works and what doesn't.  It's easy to say the previous administration had lots of stuff that didn't work, not so easy to say, we've been here 2 years and some of our stuff didn't work, didn't provide value for money. It calls for a different gear.

I've seen comparisons of the health care industry and the airlines: in flying the culture has grown that pilots will report errors, because there's no stigma attached. In medicine doctors tend not to report errors, because an error can end a career, or at least raise your malpractice insurance premiums.  How do we get an atmosphere in government which allows for and reports errors, particularly with the opposition party salivating at the mouth over the prospect of holding hearings and issuing statements and running on the basis of mismanagement?

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