Too frequently, small government agencies are stifled by budget cuts, lack of funding, and the fear of being stonewalled by a higher branch. Congress and the Executive branch want these agencies (and the nation) to succeed, but sometimes unforeseen challenges prevent them from achieving maximum success. Too frequently, employees at an organization are stifled by budget cuts, lack of funding, and the fear of being stonewalled by their manager or superior. Bosses want their employees (and the company/organization) to succeed, but sometimes unforeseen challenges prevent them from achieving maximum success.
In 2014, it’s vital that higher management facilitates an open-relationship with all workers involved in order for their goals are to be accomplished.
Tom Fox, Vice President for Leadership and Innovation at the Partnership for Public Service, spoke with Chris Dorobek on the DorobekINSIDER program about how changes to fiscal climates and technology should force agencies to rethink their practices. Government agencies can’t behave like they did in 1995. We’re now operating in a new environment in terms of how we utilize money and technology. There is a new budget reality that can’t be ignored.
“With declining budgets and declining staffing levels you simply can’t do everything you could before to the same level of success,” said Fox. “We can’t be sidetracked or distracted by budget cuts and furloughs and things like that. We’ve got a job to do, and we’ve got to just accept the new reality and figure out how to make progress. Federal leaders, they’re not playing the victim, they’re trying to the best extent possible to play the hero.”
Blame is often, and unfairly, cast at the top of an organization when things go wrong. It usually isn’t a case of incompetence, but lack of communication.
Fox reiterated the importance of a collective effort. “The best thing a leader can do is not only build those relationships for themselves, but to build them across the team, so that they know the right people to reach out to when a crisis really strikes.” A crisis can demonstrate how strong the relationships are between a manager and the employees in an office.
Fox spoke on leaders who take time to develop relationships throughout the office. “They’re not going to be the roadblock, they’re actually going to be the one that clears the path.”
For success around the nation, collaboration and efficiency is key. “Everything that needs to happen in government is happening somewhere, it’s just not happening everywhere,” said Fox. Sometimes, this can be a good thing. State governments often enact laws that serve as experiments for the nation overall (gay marriage, marijuana legalization, Seattle’s $15 minimum wage). If measures are proven successful they can be implemented throughout the country.
Many look to the Silicon Valley method of managing business through more freethinking and less bureaucracy and wonder if it would help the government run more smoothly. But such a quick transition is doubtful. “You know sometimes it seems like it takes the government a while to catch up, but it will happen. And, I think we are at a watershed moment in the not too distant future.”
When depleted of conventional resources, such money and new technology, the most valuable asset is always the team around you.