At my car dealer this morning bringing the old 2001 Mazda in for service. (I need to give a shout out to Rosenthal Mazda in Arlington, VA. They provide free if somewhat poky WIFI. And I guess as a blogger I need to state clearly that Rosenthal Mazda has provided me no financial renumeration. Au contraire!! But I digress…) Anyway I was checking out my Twitter feed for useful leads to interesting information and found William Eggers, who just wrote a great book, If We Can Put a Man on the Moon, about making government better, providing a link to his new website Policy Design for Execution. If you pick up the book or check out the website, government workers will appreciate the sympathetic analysis of what leads to government disfunction. As the website notes, “policy ideas go straight from the idea stage through the legislature without being subjected to the exacting design process that occurs in the private sector.”
Well, I don’t know that the design process in the private sector is always that exacting, but I think the general point is still true. Government workers are often asked to turn some incompletely (or worse ill) conceived idea into reality, and then get all the blame when it doesn’t work. You can’t even say it doesn’t work as designed, because it WAS NEVER DESIGNED!!! And then, most galling, the very individuals who generated the idea–the legislators–then enjoy beating up the incompetent government workers who can’t get it right. Really, it is time for us govies to stop accepting victim status and join the conversation about out what, other than our own performance, also needs to change to produce better government results.
At the start I mentioned that I checked my Twitter feed. If you don’t twitter and don’t use it specifically to gather a posse of smart people you turn to for advice and ideas, then you are really missing out on one of the real benefits of social networking. At least among the people I follow, Twitter has evolved from idle chatter to focused sharing. For example here’s a link that just popped up to an interesting article in Foreign Policy on the new rules of war: http://bit.ly/9TmAvb .
Give Twitter a try.