About Ken Miller
Ken married way over his head to the incredible Jennifer Miller and has two children. His daughter wants to be a boxer and loves the Jonas Brothers and his son just wants to be better than his Dad at everything.
Ken is the founder of the Change and Innovation Agency, a firm dedicated to increasing government's capacity to do more good. Ken has worked with amazing people in the most difficult environments to tackle big issues like:
• How can we best organize the resources of a community to fight poverty?
• How can we overcome the barriers that prevent most inner city kids from going to college?
• Where's my tax refund?
• How do we make a child abuse hotline as responsive and reliable as 911?
• How can we get union workers in psychiatric facilities to say "Thank God it's Monday"
• How can we bring the radical improvements of manufacturing to the 85% of the workforce that doesn't make widgets?
• Why is this DMV line so brutally long?
Ken was the Deputy Director of the Missouri Department of Revenue, where he was part of a transformation effort that reduced the time to issue tax refunds by 80% (fastest in the nation) at less cost and cut wait times in motor vehicle offices by half. The agency received a State Quality Award -- one of only a handful of government agencies in the country to receive such a distinction. Ken was then named Director of Performance Improvement for Missouri State Government, one of only two states to receive an A grade from GOVERNING for Managing for Results.
Ken speaks to thousands of government managers every year spreading his simple but often-ignored message: The only thing standing in the way of the government we want is right between our ears. Our beliefs create our systems. Our systems produce our results. If we want better results in government we need better systems. If we want better systems, we need better beliefs.
Shameless Self-Promoting Stuff:
Ken is the author of two books We Don't Make Widgets: Overcoming the Myths That Keep Government From Radically Improving and The Change Agent's Guide to Radical Improvement as well as numerous articles and columns on how to improve the performance of government.
Ken was named one of the country's top change agents by Fast Company magazine. Learn more about Ken, his message and view video clips of keynote addresses at www.wedontmakewidgets.com
Moderately Interesting Stuff:
Favorite movies: Pulp Fiction, Meet Joe Black, Fletch
TV shows I've seen every episode of: Seinfeld, Lost, The Office, Thirtysomething, Taxi and Welcome Back Kotter
Favorite bands: Foo Fighters, Ryan (not Brian) Adams, Billy McLaughlin
A great day: Wake up early and walk nine holes of golf while grass is still wet, come home and share a big cup of coffee with my wife, write a little, play guitar a little, write some more, pick my kids up from the bus stop, coach little league, catch up on the DVR, and then wind down with a great book. Unless it is Sunday, in which case all I do is put on my Kansas City Chiefs jersey and scream at the TV.
About Bill Bott
In a past life Bill may have sacrificed his life for a king, or saved orphans from a burning building, because there is nothing he's done in this world to deserve his lovely wife Jana Dawn, or his two amazing kids. While Jana's full time job is keeping her husband out of trouble, her career is actually working in the public sector. Their eldest aspires to be the first NHL player to be elected president, and their youngest is too busy changing into her third outfit of the day to decide what she would like to be.
Bill started his career in public service volunteering at an Air Force Youth Center, but quickly found himself submersed in the world of government improvement initiatives. A survivor of TQM, Zero Defects, and Six Sigma, Bill has dedicated his professional life to helping make elements of these square pegs fit into the round holes that make up the work we do.
In 1999, he left the federal government and went to work for the State of Missouri and in his time there worked with some amazing people who saved the state over half a billion dollars in real costs in less than 10 years.
Best known for his work consolidating the IT functions and staff in the state, he was recognized as a GOVERNING Public Official of the Year in 2007, and one of Government Technology's 2008 Doers, Dreamers, and Drivers. He also received accolades from the American Business Awards for his innovative approach to IT management and was chosen to represent the United States as a young leader by the American Council on Germany.
Bill joined the Change and Innovation Agency in 2009 and now works with public servants across the country. A regular speaker on IT Consolidation and Project Management, his message of true process improvement before automation is a frequent theme in his writings and in his workshops.
Moderately Interesting Stuff:
Favorite bands: Yikes -- I can find something good in almost all music with the exception of jazz and bluegrass -- to my ears, they have very few redeeming qualities. For time sake, I sorted iTunes by play count and apparently my top bands are Van Halen, Caedman's Call, and High School Musical... but I'm pretty sure the kids have been listening to music on the laptop and skewed my data.
Favorite movies: Much easier. Big Rounders guy. Loved The Usual Suspects, The Godfather (I and II), Reservoir Dogs, Biloxi Blues, Star Wars, and anything Chevy did before rehab. If you can keep me thinking about the plot, or make me laugh out loud more than twice -- I'll watch and re-watch every time I can.
A great day: Wake up to his daughter jumping on the bed announcing it's morning, and then realizing it's Saturday and there are no kid events to attend. Making pancakes with my boy before catching up on some Phineas and Ferb. Walking the dogs through our woods, hearing my wife laugh, grilling dinner on the patio, and an outdoor movie with friends before goodnight prayers and a last kiss goodnight, then an hour of silence before checking email and preparing to start again.
If could be doing anything right now, what would it be: I love what I'm doing right now. Being a dad to two great kids, working with my best friends, and feeling like every day I'm interacting with public officials and that we have the potential to change the world.