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1. Strategic Collaboration
Common sense would suggest that by nowâ€”one decade into the 21st centuryâ€”the idea of working together in an interdependent world would be axiomatic, at least to those in the public sector. Alas, common sense has never been all that common.
So in highly fragmented public bureaucracies, collaboration often goes against the grainâ€”both the informal ground rules of organizational structures and the individualistic nature of agency culture-bearers. When random, episodic collaboration does occur, it's unlikely to be broad-based or strategic. Indeed, it seems exceptional when partnering is planned or orchestrated to achieve a priority agency mission or management-improvement goal. But that doesn't have to be the case.
This issue of The Public Manager offers a diverse Omega Replica set of articles on strategic collaboration that actually capture public managers working together across organizational boundaries to achieve a common purposeâ€”a rare, even heretical, act, to be sure.
2. Collaborative Governance
The feature article, contributed by Russ Linden, frames our multi-disciplinary discussion of collaborative governance. His piece on collaborative intelligence takes readers inside the national intelligence community and shares six principles for successful collaboration. Diane Denholm and Phil Kangas add another angle with their article on collaboration in a multi-sector workforce, which examines how acquisition strategies can be used to improve performance.
Seth Grossman weighs in with a case illustration on public-private collaboration in Philadelphiaâ€”a grassroots partnership that cuts across jurisdictional and sector lines to create a new umbrella that assures both mission and administrative coherence. And Patrick Mendis and Leah Green offer a commerce-oriented article on government-wide collaboration to boost national trade.
In Technology, Kitty Wooley describes how adopting collaboration via the use of social media can help agencies accomplish increasingly interdependent program objectives. She points out that organizations must acknowledge not only the risks and benefits, but also the revolutionary, almost printing press-like implications. The article by article Maja Husar Holmes and Alix Henry examine the power of collaboration with a fiscal management-related case study on building sustainable ordinances in Taos, New Mexico. The authors remind cities and towns across the United States to look at solutions from a different perspective when grappling with ways to reduce energy costs, conserve water, and limit their carbon footprint.
3. Improved Government Performance
The Budgets piece by David Ammons offers a timely peek into measuring the effectiveness of local government stimulus projects. Meanwhile, Carrie Hoff's feature article provides a glimpse at strategic procurement training in San Diego County, California. And the article by Marick Masters, Robert Albright, and Ray Gibney outlines the linkage between labor-management relations to improved federal agency performance.
In this month's People article, author Ken Amitin drills down into how organizational leaders can make job satisfaction surveys more useful. The article by Don Zauderer explores how another more invisible form of human capitalâ€”the communityâ€”can also be key to improved productivity. And focusing on workplace learning, Teresa Wedding Kloster and Wendy Sherwin Swire describe how managers can use "anytime coaching" approaches to improve employee performance.
4. Rounding Out the View
Heading up to 40,000 feet, Mick Mortlock revisits the notion of our national "failure of imagination." Circling back to this issue's central theme is a book review (written by editor-in-chief Warren Master) of Russ Linden's recently released Collaboration in a Networked World, replete with more than a dozen Omega Replica Watches public sector case illustrations and a wide array of practical analytic tools for use by line managers and other leaders. Lastly, the spring issue would not be complete without a smidgen of irreverence by Grimaldi on the nation's current predicament surrounding the number 41.
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