Improving Agency Performance and Service Delivery

Mary Campbell
A governor who effectively performs the dual role of managerial and political leader can have significant impact on the performance of cabinet agencies and on public perception of government. Government performance can be improved. Research and experience show that performance change in large organizations starts with assertive and disciplined leadership from the top that sets the direction for agency managers and staff. For the past ten years Washington State has been successfully using these proven management principles. It has been named in the top five best-managed states and has received the Digital State award for the last three years, in addition to being named the number one state government by the National Policy Research Council. Washington State has found that improving agency management systems generates payoffs in program results, but as the culture of government becomes more results-oriented it is not yet clear if the changes have been sufficiently institutionalized to survive a change of administration. This administration's legacy is a strong foundation on which a new governor can build with security.
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