Extreme Government Makeover
The house of government is broken, and it needs a serious makeover from top to bottom. Management expert Ken Miller discusses how the processes of government became so complicated and inefficient – and how to start cleaning up the mess. With his typical irreverent and funny tone, Ken lays out the simple ways that public-sector leaders can tear down all the twisted, broken parts of government and rebuild it stronger, leaner, and better equipped to help citizens. Full of clear, concise tips on increasing government’s capacity, Extreme Government Makeover is essential reading for everyone in government, from top-level executives to managers and employees on the front lines.
What You’ll Learn in Extreme Government Makeover
- The one and only thing government needs to focus on to get out of this crisis
- How government can perform its vital functions 80 percent faster, at less cost and with better quality
- The DNA of government complexity and how we can genetically modify it
- How to spot the “moldy” thinking that is making us all sick
- How to get rid of 40 percent of your agency’s workload
- How to find the hidden costs of government
- What the next generation of customers and employees are going to do to your operations
- Why technology isn’t the answer
- Most importantly, you’ll learn a new way of seeing the work of government – and a better way to make that work great
We Don’t Make Widgets
Written for management at every level of government, Ken Miller’s book explodes the myths that prevent dramatic improvement in government operations. If you’re interested in a new way of thinking about what you do, who you do it for, and why you do it, this book is for you. Read it and manage with the best!
Praise For We Don’t Make Widgets
“Not since the publication of Measuring Up: Governing’s Guide to Performance Measurement for Geniuses (and Other Public Managers) by Jonathan Walters have I had such a laugh-out-loud read of a book on performance measurement. But be warned: Don’t buy this book if you expect to have all of your management and leadership skills validated. Don’t buy it if you want a book that will make you comfortable. But if you want a book that will stimulate your thinking about performance measurement, that has the potential to change how you lead your work team or organization and provides concrete steps for doing so, then this book is for you.”
– Michael Lawson, Director, ICMA Center for Performance Measurement
“Ken doesn’t just write about radically improving government operations, he has done it! Using the tools he sets forth in his book, Ken helped transform programs as diverse as license bureau services, income tax processing systems and child-abuse hotline operations to provide just what citizens expected: shorter wait times, quicker income tax refunds and more efficient and accurate handling of hot line calls. In the process, he built teams of dedicated state employees who know that they hold the key to the continued improvement of government services.”
– Michael Hartmann, Chief of Staff to Missouri Governors Mel Carnahan, Roger B. Wilson, and Bob Holden
When Denver Mayor Michael Hancock took office in 2011, he inherited an $80 million budget shortfall and a government workforce that had been through multiple rounds of cuts and furloughs. Morale was low. He needed a way to drive greater efficiencies, cost savings and improved performance—and he had to do it in-house, on a shoe-string budget.
Enter Peak Academy, the coaching and innovation program Mayor Hancock created to teach frontline city employees how to tackle small problems and deliver big results. In four years, Peak Academy trained 5,000 government staff in the fundamentals of lean manufacturing and other process management techniques. More than 2,000 employee-driven innovations later, the program had saved Denver an estimated $15 million. Word got out and dozens of other governments sent their staffs to Denver or hired Peak Academy to bring the training to them.
In this fun, easy-to-read guide, Brian Elms and Governing staff writer J.B. Wogan deliver the basics for the rest of us, with:
- a surprisingly frank discussion about how hard it was to get the program off the ground
- a thoughtful exploration of both the challenges faced and the reasons why Peak ultimately succeeded
- a clear overview of Peak Academy training methods and tools (including yes, all those yellow stickies)
- concrete examples of employee-driven innovations—many of which sound, in hind-sight, like $40,000 no-brainers, until you realize there are hundreds of similar and much-needed fixes in every workplace