We Don't Make Widgets
Written for middle- and senior-level managers in state, city and county government, We Don’t Make Widgets: Overcoming the Myths That Keep Government from Radically Improving 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 — part of the Governing Management Series — 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 is the book 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 this 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 waiting 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
This book fills a glaring void in the literature on performance improvement in the government by expanding the frontiers of this field and focusing on the nuts and bolts of actually improving performance. Written from the heart and fun to read, this book is transcendental in its relevance to developed and developing countries. It is a must read for policymakers interested in implementation aspects of good governance.
Dr. Prajapati Trivedi, Senior Economist, the World Bank, Visiting Economics Faculty, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
We Don’t Make Widgets is an eminently readable treatise on how government should rethink its approach to everything from child protection to issuing drivers’ licenses. Miller’s send-ups of blue-ribbon panels, performance-based budgeting, pay-for-performance and reorganization as governmental panaceas are worth the price of the book.
Jonathan Walters, Staff correspondent, Governing magazine, Author, Measuring Up: Governing’s Guide to Performance Measurement for Geniuses (and Other Public Managers)