Babak Armajani was a Management Insights contributor. He was the chair for the Public Strategies Group, where he and his partners focused on transforming bureaucracies into customer-focused enterprises. Armajani previously served as Deputy Commissioner of Minnesota's Department of Revenue, where he led the department through deep and dramatic changes. While serving as the deputy commissioner in the Department of Administration, he helped develop two innovations that were recognized by the Harvard/Ford Foundation Innovations in Government Awards. Armajani taught graduate management courses at the University of Minnesota, Indiana University and Metropolitan State University and co-wrote Breaking Through Bureaucracy with Michael Barzelay, a book that argues for a new approach to funding and managing internal services like data processing, printing, building maintenance, and internal consulting and analysis. He died June 3, 2013 at the age of 66.

Babak Armajani
May 31, 2013

When to Use Performance Measurement

Performance measures are a key management tool -- but not for everything.
May 22, 2013

Creating the Courts Americans Want

The public is dissatisfied with our courts. What the judicial system needs is a culture of performance-based innovation.
March 6, 2013

Finding the Sweet Spot of Value and Cost

A concept called value-cost leveraging can cut the costs of delivering public services while providing better satisfaction.
December 19, 2012

Three Keys to Breaking Government Gridlock

Overcoming it is not a hopeless challenge. The trick is to look for the issues that lie beneath the surface.
October 10, 2012

Politics and the Discouraged Public Servant

The meaningless dialogue we're hearing in this campaign season can leave people in government feeling pretty low. There are some ways to try to get past the blues.
August 8, 2012

The Wrong -- and Right -- Way to Build a Strategic Plan

Done well, it can serve as the centerpiece of an organization’s work, guiding it in ways both large and small.
May 30, 2012

What Price Consolidation?

Combining government functions seems like a good idea, but it doesn’t always save money and it rarely improves results. There are alternatives worth considering.
March 21, 2012

A ‘Picture-Perfect’ Regulatory System

We need rules and regulations, but nothing beats voluntary compliance. There are ways to make that happen.
January 4, 2012

The Perils of Evidence-Based Government

It’s a powerful tool, but sometimes it might really be better to reinvent the wheel.
October 25, 2011

The Politics of Outcomes

Accountability-based government requires a culture shift for elected officials. It’s a change they’re not always ready to make.
August 31, 2011

The Crucial Architects of Government

Delivery of public services is all about how government systems are designed. A good idea alone is not enough.
June 8, 2011

Skunk Works Produce Change

Tasked with outcomes sought, a small group of the most creative thinkers can bring about rapid innovation.
April 11, 2011

Innovation's Hurdles

What is it that makes change so difficult?
March 2, 2011

The Perils of Performance Measurement

If you want performance management to really take hold in your organization, follow these 6 tips.
December 1, 2010

Get Your Ideas Implemented

Six steps for those who work close to the front line where innovation, these days, is most needed.
October 13, 2010

Poking Holes in Silos

Tearing down bureaucracies altogether might be overly ambitious, but poking a few holes may get at the very resources agencies need to succeed.
October 13, 2010

Breaking Up Bureaucracies

The silo may have performed a vital function one century ago, but it's an antiquated concept.
September 8, 2010

Do Your Systems Say What you Mean?

How to align your administrative systems to your agency's mission.

Aligning Administrative Systems With Agency Mission

Do your HR, procurement, budget, accounting and contracting systems say what you mean?

4 Tips to Redesigning Services

This fiscal crisis demands transformational changes. Here's how to do it.
July 7, 2010

Turning a Bike Into a Motorcycle

Four tips to redesigning services in a good and bad economy.

Tactics for Reforming Support Services

Choice and competition may seem "inefficient" to old-line thinkers. Yet, the evidence suggests that these strategies produce higher service quality at less cost.
March 2, 2010

A Better Way to Regulate

Government regulates a lot. Whether checking up on the cleanliness of a restaurant, making sure people don't speed, or ensuring building codes are followed, government...

More Hidden Keys to Reforming Support Services

Savings, improved services can be realized by discarding old, erroneous ways of thinking for new ways of thinking.

Reforming Support Services: The Hidden Keys

The first in a series of key lessons on reforming internal support services.

Making Time to Think

Government culture values getting things done. But thinking -- proactive thinking -- is crucial.

Football and Innovation

To meet the demands of a changing world, governments need to program themselves for change.

The Power of Intrinsic Rewards

The strongest motivators come from inside a person.

Dealing with Resistance

Embrace it. It's a vital ingredient in change.

A Push-Pull Strategy for Change

Leadership is about winning followers.

A Formula for Leadership

More than help leaders figure out the next step, Babak Armajani has a formula helping them see the bigger picture.

The Risks and Rewards of Transparency

Admitting mistakes is a risk. But willingness to admit mistakes builds trust.

Cultivating Organizational Curiosity

Curiosity can be defined as a need, thirst, or desire for knowledge. It's also an attribute found in high performing organizations.

What Transformational Leaders Do

A practical recipe for how a leader translates his or her action into accomplishments.