State government needs to reinvent how it functions, which requires a fundamental change from current thinking. This can’t be done by those whose paradigm has been shaped by the current broken system. There are significant forces of status quo and self-preservation that hinder consideration of positive change and bold reform.
Efficiency and effectiveness are not normal patterns of thought in government. Positive change will require leaders who understand both the philosophy of, and experience in, positive change. Leaders who know wisdom is the application of experience to truth.
Successful organizations operate very differently than state government. Yet, we continue to elect, appoint, and hire people who know little about accountability, financial management, competition, planning, and execution. In fact, some leaders often bring with them a mentality that government is an employment agency for people, and the bigger the better because the higher the headcount, the greater the power.
I joined the legislature in 2011 alongside a group of reform-minded individuals who achieved many unprecedented positive changes to long-standing problems in our state. This was due in large part to our real-world experience in the private sector. We have a new opportunity before us to elect a governor who can once again work with the legislature in leading the next level of reform in the how and what of state government.
We can integrate outside thinking in how we lead and evaluate state agency effectiveness, recognizing that there’s rarely a connection between more money and better outcomes. We need to implement business practices that incentivize efficiency and eliminate programs that don’t achieve a positive return on investment.
We need people who understand the importance of hiring the right people. The success of a leader is dependent on those they surround themselves with, and the next governor must be someone who understands how to implement change as well as bring people from the private sector who can do it even better than he or she can. It needs to be a person with wisdom.