Public Great:

Hosted by Ken Miller and Bill Bott, is an online community for change agents dedicated to helping government increase it’s capacity to do more good.

The Unintended Consequences of Improvement

November 11, 2013

The world is abuzz with stories of LEAN, continuous improvement, innovation, and, in Public Great terms, fixing the pipes of government.  There are articles, conferences, webinars, and trainings galore touting the message of fixing our processes in order to meet the growing demands on the public sector with our ever-shrinking resources.  While some of the

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What to do with the “Flo’s’ of Child Protection

August 6, 2013

By Bill Bott Remember the TV series “Alice”? It ran between 1976 and 1985 and featured a trio of waitresses making it through life at Mel’s Diner. If you don’t remember the show, you probably have at least heard actress Polly Holliday’s catch phrase, “Kiss my Grits,” which her character Flo seemed to use almost

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CYA is Killing Kids

June 25, 2013

By Bill Bott For the past two years, one set of pipes has really captured my attention. If you follow the Public Great blog, you know that our guiding beliefs are that “the work of government is noble; the people of government are amazing; and the systems (or the pipes) of government are a mess.”

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Learn About Lean and Other Management Fads from Texts

May 21, 2013

By Bill Bott This month, Ken and I wrote an article for another publication on a management strategy known as “Lean.” It’s a strategy that’s being adopted by state and local governments around the country that involves paring any given process down to its bare essentials. When we were first asked to write something nearly

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What Citizens Really Want

April 7, 2013

By Bill Bott 60 Minutes recently reran an episode featuring Kenneth Feinberg, the lawyer overseeing BP’s $20 billion Gulf oil spill fund and tasked with being the chief liaison to the people. Around minute 20, the story showed Feinberg meeting with commercial fishermen in town-hall type settings to discuss the claims process, answer questions and

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It’s Not Rocket Science

March 11, 2013

By Bill Bott Let me start with this: I get it. NASA funding is about so much more than space exploration. It’s about expanding the human experience. It’s also political, strategic and quite expensive. The advantage of spending money to boldly go where no man has gone before is not just about exploiting the great

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Epic Technology Failures

February 22, 2013

By: | Every year around this time, my travel picks up. It’s a busy time of rushing to airports, eating in fast food joints, and scrambling to keep work and life in balance. I don’t know how people did it before you could Skype with the family for free, run your entire office from 30,000

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A TV-Inspired New Year’s Resolution for Improving Government Services

January 10, 2013

By Bill Bott Over the weekend, I fed my reality TV addiction with a heavy dose of my latest guilty pleasures, “Hardcore Pawn” and “Pawn Stars.” Both shows cover the operations of pawn shops that either buy items from customers or place them in pawn for a short-term loan. There’s one key difference, though: “Pawn

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