Reading List on Transforming Government

I've put together a list of some of my favorite resources and reading materials for those interested in transforming government. Based in part on courses...
by | January 13, 2010

I've put together a list of some of my favorite resources and reading materials for those interested in transforming government. Based in part on courses I teach as Professor of Government at the Harvard Kennedy School, these books, articles and websites are intended to present tools and information useful to those involved in public policy development and administration who are looking to do things better, faster and cheaper.

Given the budget circumstances facing state and local government, a review of some of these materials seemed in order. While no means comprehensive, this collection offers an overview of some important techniques, including how to avoid the pitfalls of transformational government.

Reducing the Cost of Government While Increasing the Quality of the Output

· Based on some of my initiatives while Mayor of Indianapolis centered on Managed Competition--The Indianapolis Story-- tells the story of how sharp reductions in bureaucracy, accompanied by public private competition resulted in over $400 million in savings.

· Also see Managed Competition in Indianapolis:The Case of Indianapolis Fleet Services published by School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, 2005.

· Privatization and outsourcing are tools of transformation which, if done correctly, can reduce costs and build infrastructure. See my article Prudent Privatization on Governing.com, published January 2009.

· Of course, the Better, Faster, Cheaper Website

Leadership Structures: How to align the messages and mechanisms for change

· The Power of Social Innovation: How Civic Entrepreneurs Ignite Community Networks for Good--forthcoming book published by Jossey-Bass, available March 2010. See Amazon book page, summary of the book and praise for the work.

· A broader way of thinking about how governments produce results, "Governing by Network" is another way to leverage private actors to produce public value. See Governing by Network: The New Shape of the Public Sector--my book coauthored with William D. Eggers and published by Brookings Institute, 2004. See book summary, reviews and acclaim as well as Brookings website summarizing the bestselling book.

· See also this Presentation to National Governor's Association, Winter 2008

· Governing by Network: Approaches to Innovative Leadership--Presentation at the 3rd Annual Orange County Mayors' Summit, California. June 18, 2008.

· "If We Can Put a Man on the Moon..." by William D. Eggers and John O'Leary looks at how governments accomplish large undertakings and the pitfalls along the way.

The role of faith-based and civic organizations in building neighborhoods and character

· Having Faith in Our Neighborhoods: The Front Porch Alliance--Essay published in What's God Got To Do With the American Experiment? Edited by E.J. Dionne Jr. and John J. DiIulio. Washington, D.C., Brookings Institution Press (2000) 72-80.

· City Hall and Religion: When, Why and How to Lead--paper published by Harvard Kennedy School's Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations exploring mayoral and faith based collaborations

Restructuring labor management relationships

· Restructuring Labor-Management Relations to Improve Government Services--chapter published in Going Public: The Role of Labor-Management Relations in Delivery Quality. Published by the Labor and Employment Relations Association (2003), chapter

· Partnering for Public Value: New Approaches in Public Employee Labor-Management Relations--Article published in University of Pennsylvania Journal of Labor and Employment Law (2003).

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