The strategies adopted by our governments and public officials can lead to significant change in citizens' lives --smoking bans, carbon markets, even the reunification of a country like Germany. Equally, strategic failure can result in highly visible disasters, such as the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.
This book is about how strategies take shape, and how money, people, technologies, and public commitment can be mobilized to achieve important goals. It considers the common mistakes made, and how these can be avoided.
Written by Geoff Mulgan, a former head of policy for the UK prime minister, and advisor to governments round the world, it is packed with examples and shaped by the author's practical experience. The author's central point is that we as citizens deserve governments that pay more attention to the long-term, rather than to tomorrow's opinion poll or newspaper editorial. The evidence shows that those governments that have learned how to be strategic have helped to make their citizens healthier, richer and happier.
The book is essential reading for anyone involved in running public organizations--from hospitals and schools to national government departments and local councils--but also for anyone interested in how government really works.
Riveting fizzing with insights and ideas.... a "must read" for anyone interested in strategic choice and action in government. * Professor Colin Talbot, Manchester University *
Bold ... intelligent, well-argued and challenging. I recommend it. * Peter Shergold, former head of the Australian Public Service *
Unusually useful and clear ... it shows how vision, courage and discipline can achieve change ... and avoids empty pieties by being firmly based on fact and experience. * Les Echos, France *
What is needed to close the gap between existing government capacity and urgent problems is skilled strategists who can successfully integrate public aspirations, operational capacities to deliver results, and a sharp and unrelenting focus on the production of publicly valued results. Geoff Mulgan, relying on both a strong scholarly base, and broad experience in government, has written a wonderful book that can provide invaluable guidance to those who would like to
offer such value creating public leadership. I recommend it highly. * Mark Moore, Hauser Professor, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard *
Geoff Mulgan's deep insights into the politics of change derive from a profound understanding of the dynamics of modern societies, impressive creativity in the design of new social institutions, and an abiding commitment to social progress. His work has informed the thinking of public officials at the top of the pyramid as well as social entrepreneurs at the grass roots, and it should be widely read and studied. * Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School Professor and author of Confidence and World Class *
Good government takes the long-term seriously and there can be few people better qualified than Geoff Mulgan to show how this aspiration can become part of the day-to-day work of departments and agencies. * Sir Gus O'Donnell, Cabinet Secretary & Head of the Home Civil Service, UK Government *
1: Introduction: From Tangled Knots to Virtuous Circles
2: What is Public Strategy?
3: Public Action: The Dynamics of Supply and Demand
4: A Framework for Adaptive Strategy
5: Locating Strategy: Structures, Processes, and Cultures
6: Knowledge: How Can Governments Know Enough to Govern?
7: Implementation: Moving from Words to Action
8: Positive Risks: Taking Innovation in the Public Sector Seriously
9: Negative Risks: Strategies for Resilience
10: Joined-up Government
11: Changing Minds and Behaviour
12: Winning (and Losing) Public Trust
13: Metrics: Measuring Social and Public Value
14: Persistent Leadership
15: Separating the Urgent and the Important: Strategy as a Public Good