Publications

    When Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Judy Monroe learned of the emergence of H1N1 (commonly referred to as “Swine Flu”) in late April 2009, she had to quickly figure out how to coordinate an effective response within her state’s highly balkanized public health system, in which more than 90 local health departments wielded considerable autonomy. Over the next several months, she would come to rely heavily on relationships she had worked hard to establish with local health officials upon becoming commissioner – but she and her senior advisors would also have to scramble to find new ways to communicate and coordinate with their local partners, who represented jurisdictions that varied considerably in terms of size, population demographics, resources, and public health capacity.

    On January 15, 2009, shortly after takeoff from LaGuardia Airport, US Airways Flight 1549 struck a flock of Canada geese. The geese were then sucked into the plane’s twin engines, causing total engine failure and the loss of power. Case A of this three-part series recounts how over the following four minutes, Flight 1549’s Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and First Officer Jeffrey Skiles grappled with a variety of extreme challenges. Not only did they have to keep the plane under control, but they also had to quickly decide whether they could make an emergency landing at a nearby airport – or find another alternative to get the plane down safely in one of the most crowded regions in the country. Cases B and C then describe how, after the plane landed in the cold waters of the Hudson River, emergency responders from many agencies and private organizations – converging on the scene without a prior action plan for this type of emergency – scrambled to both rescue passengers and crew and stabilize the aircraft as it began to move downstream.

    This case prompts readers to consider the challenges of responding to a sudden crisis involving intense pressure and significant uncertainty. By highlighting the actions the captain and crew of US Airways Flight 1549 took following the failure of the plane’s two engines. Cases B and C illustrate the complexities of coordinating a multi-organizational response involving actors from a range of public agencies and private sector partners.

    On January 15, 2009, shortly after takeoff from LaGuardia Airport, US Airways Flight 1549 struck a flock of Canada geese. The geese were then sucked into the plane’s twin engines, causing total engine failure and the loss of power. Case A of this three-part series recounts how over the following four minutes, Flight 1549’s Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and First Officer Jeffrey Skiles grappled with a variety of extreme challenges. Not only did they have to keep the plane under control, but they also had to quickly decide whether they could make an emergency landing at a nearby airport – or find another alternative to get the plane down safely in one of the most crowded regions in the country. Cases B and C then describe how, after the plane landed in the cold waters of the Hudson River, emergency responders from many agencies and private organizations – converging on the scene without a prior action plan for this type of emergency – scrambled to both rescue passengers and crew and stabilize the aircraft as it began to move downstream.

    This case examines the steps political leaders, emergency management professionals, and public health officials in Louisiana and Texas took to improve their capacity to evacuate, shelter, and repatriate individuals with special needs following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, both of which revealed serious shortcomings when it came to the execution of evacuation processes. (In the context of evacuation management, the term “special needs“ generally refers to people requiring assistance to move out of harm’s way, including those with disabilities and medical conditions, the elderly, the institutionalized, the homebound, and people without direct access to their own means of transportation.) The case also looks at how well the states’ revised plans prepared them to manage yet another round of special needs evacuations when, in 2008, Hurricanes Gustav and Ike threatened the New Orleans and Houston metropolitan regions, respectively.

    David Dapice, May 2012 

    There is an immense challenge facing the leadership in Myanmar. They have to negotiate a nation and to reform the basic assumptions and processes that have ruled for the past decades. They need to make the new system more representative, more inclusive, less favorable to a narrow group of businessmen and government or army officials, and more broadly successful. The new system has to give minority groups a reason to want to be part of the new nation. That means not only creating new sources of growth and wealth, but also making rules that ensure the benefits go to many more than the relatively narrow groups who have largely benefitted in the past. The technical adjustments needed in the exchange rate, the financial system, taxing and spending, infrastructure investments, and competition policy will all ultimately be judged on the ability of the policy package to create the conditions for national unity and progress. The government needs to have a vision of this goal and how the pieces fit together. Getting it to work in a shaky world economy with new and still evolving institutions is a huge challenge. But for those who have seen the past clearly for what it was, there can be no doubt that moving forward together is better than going back or staying put.

    Herman B. ”Dutch” Leonard and Arnold M. Howitt – August 2012 

    Emergency response organizations must deal with both ”routine emergencies” (dangerous events, perhaps extremely severe, that are routine because they can be anticipated and prepared for) and ”true crises” (which, because of significant novelty, cannot be dealt with exclusively by pre-determined emergency plans and capabilities). These types of emergencies therefore require emergency response organizations to adopt very different leadership strategies, if they are effectively to cope with the differential demands of these events. This paper develops ideas about leadership under crisis conditions, concentrating on the political leadership and decision making functions that are thrust to the center of concern during such crisis events.

    in Program, Innovations Government. 2008. “Celebrating 20 Years of Government Innovation ”. Read the full report Abstract

    Innovations in Government Program, March 2008 

    This report offers findings and subsequent analysis of the winners of the Innovations in American Government (IAG) Awards honored between 1986 and 2007. The findings were released at the Institute’s “Frontiers of Innovation: Celebrating 20 Years of Innovation in Government” conference held March 31 through April 2, 2008.

    Parents as Teachers: Missouri – 1987 Innovations Winner 

    In the early 1980s, Missouri’s director of early childhood education launched a novel parent education pilot project designed to increase children’s kindergarten readiness and support family well-being by sending specially trained educators on monthly home visits to help parents foster their babies’ early development. By 1985, when an evaluation touted strong results for the pilot, the Missouri legislature already had made the program – dubbed Parents as Teachers – a mandatory offering of school districts statewide. Soon after, the St. Louis-based Parents as Teachers National Center, formed to oversee the state program and respond to outside inquiries, became an independent nonprofit. From the start, the National Center staff built quality controls into program design and the training of parent educators while simultaneously embracing rapid growth; by 1999 Parents as Teachers programs served more than 500,000 children in the U.S. and six foreign countries. But despite such quality control efforts, the flexibility and adaptability that aided fast replication left the National Center with no effective way to manage or monitor the more than 2,000 sites worldwide. As a result, the National Center was forced to take a hard look at its replication model, its oversight role, and at how the center could better monitor and improve program quality.

    This two-case series allows discussion of key issues facing growing nonprofits, in particular, weighing the tradeoffs inherent in different replication strategies; managing the tension between rapid growth and quality control; and analyzing how political and funding constraints can impact program design. While the (A) case addresses replication, training, organizational structures, and program design, the (B) case focuses on questions around evaluation, program fidelity, and implementation of quality standards.

    Steven J. Kelman, October 2006 

    During the past several years the most aggressive effort in the history of government has been made in the United Kingdom to use an innovative public management tool – the use of performance metrics and performance goals in the management of public sector organizations – both to improve the performance of public-sector organizations and also to recast some of the terms of democratic deliberation in the UK. As a pioneer in this innovation, the UK example may provide lessons for other governments as they seek to further implement this innovation. Professor Kelman’s research, largely focusing on interviews with managers within UK government, seeks to discover how United Kingdom central government institutions have gone about trying to influence the performance of frontline organizations that must actually meet these targets.

    Gilberto Garcia, July 2005 

    After analyzing 271 government programs qualified as innovative through having won a national government and local management award in Mexico, and submitting a questionnaire to the 79 persons responsible for some of the best practices in the municipal government in the years 2001, 2002, and 2003, this paper identifies and analyzes variables that have a bearing on the emergence and sustainability of the innovation process in Mexico’s local governments. The results show paradoxes in the process of innovation of organizations needing to accomplish increasingly complex objectives through a lack of mechanisms to accrue intermediate and long-term technical expertise, as well as organizational learning. This paper also describes the differences in the process of innovation according to three contextual variables: organization capability, institutional development, and political and electoral competition.

    Unleashing Change: A Study of Organizational Renewal in Government

    Steven Kelman, Brookings Institution Press, 2005 

    This is a hopeful account of the potential for organizational change and improvement within government. Despite the mantra that "people resist change," it is possible to effect meaningful reform in a large bureaucracy. In Unleashing Change, public management expert Steven Kelman presents a blueprint for accomplishing such improvements, based on his experience orchestrating procurement reform in the 1990s. Kelman's focuses on making change happen on the front lines, not just getting it announced by senior policymakers. He argues that frequently there will be a constituency for change within government organizations. The role for leaders is not to force change on the unwilling but to unleash the willing, and to persist long enough for the change to become institutionalized.

    Making Government Work: Lessons from America's Mayors and Governors

    Stephen Goldsmith, Contributor, May 2000

    The role of government, particularly at the state and local levels, has evolved dramatically over recent years. In Making Government Work, a bipartisan collection of the nation's most innovative governors and big city mayors describe how they make government more efficient and effective. From welfare to clean water, these original essays discuss a wide variety of issues and propose progressive solutions that will influence the thinking of all Americans interested in politics.

    Read Goldsmith's Chapter 

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