How Your Public Sector Can Learn from Private Enterprise (II)

Why can’t a government organization be profitable like a private enterprise... or at least break even?

2.  Governmental organizations can be creative in solving public problems.

There is a famous story about the town leadership of London, England in 1900.  Faced with a population boom they knew that decisive action was required to meet the growing demands people brought with them.  According to the story, they selected some of the smartest people in England and sequestered them in a building to develop a strategic plan to move London into the 20th Century.

The planning committee studied the problem, but their solution was based on their experience and not of the people who were moving into London.  They decided that the city fathers needed to invest in over a thousand horses for transportation and commerce – because their experience was with horses for their entire lives.

Next they knew there would be a need for waste removal.  They were smart enough to know that with over a thousand horses on the streets, there would be “something else” on the streets, too!  Finally they planned on building more stables and equipment barns for all of the horses.  This would make London the most industrially advanced large city in the world. 

However they failed to notice the growing popularity of the gasoline driven vehicles that were beginning to populate the streets.  Within a decade there were fewer horses on the streets of London and more automobiles, trucks and busses.  Within a few more years there were almost NO horses in use in the growing city. 

The more people involved in planning and solutions, the more creative the solutions and ownership.

People respond better when they are involved in the planning process.

The most admired companies have learned how to creatively deal with problems and obstacles.  They take their cues from their customer/public base.  They know that customer involvement in problem solving will create ownership and develop better ideas than a few people sequestered in a room. 

What process is costing taxpayers more than saving them because “we’ve always done it that way?”   Remember that your method of solving problems may not always be the best way.  How can you involve creative people in solutions more?

How Your Public Sector Can Learn from Private Ente...
How Your Public Sector Can Learn from Private Ente...

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