Elizabeth Daigneau is GOVERNING's managing editor.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
In an effort to improve management practices, top deputies in New York City government are trading places.
If you've ever seen "Wife Swap", the reality television show where two wildly different women swap families for two weeks, then you'll have an idea what New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is up to with the initiative "First Deputy Exchange." Over the next three weeks, a top deputy in each city agency will swap jobs with another deputy in an attempt to improve management practices throughout city government. The deputies will focus on customer service, staff communication, interagency collaboration and innovation during their stints at different agencies. At the end of the management exercise, deputies will report directly to the mayor in recommending any changes or new ideas. Each assignment was made with a specific operational goal in mind. For example, the first deputy commissioners from the Department of Consumer Affairs and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development have traded places to strengthen efforts to prevent foreclosure. The initiative is modeled after an exercise Bloomberg introduced at the financial services firm he founded. The fire department, police department, Office of Emergency Management and other agencies will participate in a second exchange that begins on February 1.