Managers, Part of the Problem? Changing How the Public Sector Works

By Camaron J. Thomas | Go to book overview

Introduction

Are you frustrated at work?

Do you spend your day “fighting fires”? Processing paper? Attending meetings? Playing “catch-up”?

Do you seem to expend a great deal of effort and accomplish very little? Fill your time with a lot of “hurry up and wait”? Feel like you’re pulling a rock uphill?

Do you speak in terms of “the battle”? Are there allies and opponents, strategies and tactics, positions, plans, and counterattacks?

Do some days have a certain sitcomlike quality to them, with people behaving oddly, marching headlong into the fray, doing the unimaginable, and then passing the project off to you to clean up the mess?

Have your well-honed project management skills, technical wizardry, and statistical know-how taken a permanent backseat to your so-called “people skills”—your sense of personal self-restraint?

Are there too few business decisions and too many personal wars? Too many petty events taking center stage while the larger picture seems to fall by the wayside?

Would you gratefully do your job if there was only some modicum of likelihood that you could actually get something done?

You must work in the public sector.

One gentleman summed it up this way: “I can deal with the fiscal constraints, the shortage of people to do the work, the rules and regulations and the outdated laws. I can deal with the magnitude of the workload, the late hours, and the union problems. I can even deal with

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