If We Can Put a Man on the Moon.: Getting Big Things Done in Government

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2009-11-16
  • Publisher: Perseus Distribution Services
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The American people are frustrated with their government-dismayed by a series of high-profile failures (Iraq, Katrina, the financial meltdown) that seems to just keep getting longer. Yet our nation has a proud history of great achievements: victory in World War II, our national highway system, welfare reform, the moon landing. We need more successes like these to reclaim government's legacy of competence. In If We Can Put a Man on the Moon, William Eggers and John O'Leary explain how to do it. The key? Understand-and avoid-the common pitfalls that trip up public-sector leaders during the journey from idea to results. The authors identify pitfalls including: -The Partial Map Trap: Fumbling handoffs throughout project execution -The Tolstoy Syndrome: Seeing only the possibilities you want to see -Design-Free Design: Designing policies for passage through the legislature, not for implementation -The Overconfidence Trap: Creating unrealistic budgets and timelines -The Complacency Trap: Failing to recognize that a program needs change At a time of unprecedented challenges, this book, with its abundant examples and hands-on advice, is the essential guide to making our government work better. A must-read for every public official, this book will be of interest to anyone who cares about the future of democracy.

Author Biography

William D. Eggers is the Global Research Director for Deloitte's public-sector practice and Executive Director of its Public Leadership Institute, and a prolific author and columnist. John O'Leary is an expert in business process engineering and has extensive government and private-sector experience in companies including Scudder Kemper Investments, Lycos, and KPMG Peat Marwick.

Table of Contents

Preface: The Conflict Behind the Clichép. vii
Introductionp. 1
The Seven Deadly Traps on the Journey to Success: A Fresh Look at How Big Things Get Done in a Democracy
The Tolstoy Trapp. 19
You'll See It When You Believe It: How to Find, Test, and Nurture Good Ideas
The Design-Free Design Trapp. 51
Blueprint Bootcamp: How the Design Phase Can Wreak Havoc During Implementation
The Stargate Trapp. 79
The Space Between Possibility and Reality: The Distortion Effect at the Moment of Democratic Commitment
The Overconfidence Trapp. 107
Fear, Risk, and the Best-Laid Plans: How Embracing the Risk of Failure Maximizes the Likelihood of Success
The Sisyphus Trapp. 135
The Rock, the Hill, and You: How the Interplay Between Systems and People Generates Results
The Complacency Trapp. 167
Changing Times: How the Way Things Are Keeps Us from Seeing What Could Be
The Silo Trapp. 197
The Walls Between Us: Working Better Together by Seeing the Big Picture
Creating a Better Futurep. 219
The Execution Mindset: A Politician and a Bureaucrat Show Us How We Can Rekindle the Spirit of Democracy
Case Studies Analyzedp. 243
National Academy of Public Administration Survey Resultsp. 249
Senior Executive Service Survey Resultsp. 253
Policy Execution Survey Results, Canadap. 257
Notesp. 261
Indexp. 211
Acknowledgmentsp. 289
About the Authorsp. 295
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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