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Public Statements

Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration Annual Conference

Location: Unknown

Thank you very, very much. It is an honor to be here with you.

This is a very exciting time to be studying and teaching public policy. In part because the challenges faced by our governments, at every level, are enormous.

There are a lot of things that are right about our country. But we also have to acknowledge that middle-class American families are earning no more now than they were in 1989.

So how do we fix this?

We must rediscover our shared sense of national purpose. We must restore the balance of investments necessary for middle-class opportunity. And connected to both of these missions, is the responsibility we have to modernize our government to make it more efficient in cost, and more effective at delivering results.


Over these last several and very difficult years in Maryland, we have chosen to move forward, not back.

We have now recovered 100 percent of the jobs we lost in the recession. We have now reduced crime to 30-year lows. And last year, the health of the Chesapeake Bay actually improved a little bit, rather than being degraded.

This year we have been named by Pew Center on the States one of the top three states in America for UPWARD economic mobility.

And for the first time ever, and in the depths of the recession, Education Week Magazine named Maryland's system the number one public schools in America -- an achievement we have held now for five years in a row.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce named us now, for two years in a row, the number one State for innovation and entrepreneurship.

And we have the number one median income in the country…

It all comes down to this: If we want better results for ourselves and for our children, we must make better choices. Choices that restore the balance of investments necessary for progress, choices that recover our shared sense of national purpose, choices that modernize and reform the way we govern ourselves.

This last point is what I'd like to talk with you about today.

Performance Measurement

There is emerging in our country right now a new way of leadership.

We see it rising from the ground up, and from the next generation forward.

You see, we baby boomers, and our parents and grandparents, grew up with a way of leadership that was ideological, hierarchical, and bureaucratic.

This next generation -- the generation that so many of you are teaching -- demands a different way of leadership. This new way of leadership has three differentiating attributes: It is fundamentally entrepreneurial. It is operationally collaborative. And it is relentlessly performance measured.

It is no longer about the tall triangle of command and control. It is about the circle on its side -- an intelligent circle -- in the center of other concentric circles. Circles of effective collaboration.

When I was elected mayor of Baltimore in 1999, we had allowed ourselves to become the most addicted and violent city in America.

But we saw what our neighbors up north in New York were doing -- they were actually reducing crime, with the CompStat system. Timely, accurate information shared by all, rapid deployment of resources, effective tactics and strategies, relentless follow-up.

We borrowed this new approach to policing. We implemented it in Baltimore. And we went on to achieve the biggest reductions in Part 1 crime of any major city in America from 2000 to 2009.

We also took this new system of performance measurement enterprise-wide. We called this innovation, CitiStat.

We made it the new way of driving every department and agency. It is what cities all across America are now implementing in some way, shape, or form.

This new way of leadership in public management is fundamentally changing the way we govern our cities; fundamentally changing the way we advance the common good we share.

No longer content with the way it's always been, no longer content to wallow in the catch-all excuse of budgetary limits, we shifted our focus from inputs…instead to outputs. Trash, public safety, eradicating childhood lead poisoning.

We used the Internet to make the information of progress-making open and available to every citizen.

We borrowed 311 from Chicago, put it on the front end, just like 911. We gave customer service numbers to every citizen, regardless of whether they lived in a wealthy neighborhood, poor neighborhood, black neighborhood, white neighborhood, Democratic or Republican neighborhoods.

We moved from "some time" management to real time management. Real time, real fast, real open, real transparent, and real accountable…

We moved from a spoils-based system of patronage politics to a results-based system of performance politics.

We moved from siloed bureaucracies to common platforms.

Geographic Information Systems -- GIS -- allowed us to not only "put the cops on the dots"; smart maps also allowed us to run plays instead of just sending people out to scramble.

Traditionally in the past, the essential endeavors of any government -- whether it's state, Federal, or local -- were departmentalized into silos.

One could spend a lifetime paying technology people a lot of money to try to connect up and down those separate silos of individual human effort and still it would not happen.

But in better-managed, modern governments, the informational bases of each of those silos now land on the same GIS map. Collaborative synergies start to take shape. Independent actions become part of a larger collaborative undertaking…become part of a better synchronized dynamic of progress…

Hit the Targets: Dangermond and Rendell

Short story.

Jack Dangermond -- whose company, ESRI, is now one of the leading GIS companies in the world -- once approached me at a National Governors meeting with a simple request, "I really want you to get me some time with your friend, Governor Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania."

He knew that Governor Rendell had a passion for infrastructure and the proper funding of our transportation needs like bridge repairs.

What he did not know was that Governor Rendell, like all of us former mayors, is blessed with an aversion to blind meetings, and Jack wanted to show Governor Rendell a new bridge app.

When I finally succeeded in corralling a busy and skeptical Governor Rendell into a corner with Jack Dangermond and his computer screen, I warned Jack, "you have 45 seconds."

Jack launched immediately. "This," he said, "is a map of Minnesota and each dot on this map shows where the bridges are in Minnesota."


Here's a red, orange, yellow color code showing the same bridges, ranging from most structurally sound to most structurally deficient.

Then he said, "Now I'm going to click on this other layer, which will change the size of these red dots relative to how many human lives go across these most structurally deficient bridges every single day."


Finally, he said, "I want to show to you where the Federal dollars for repairing these bridges actually go…"

And with that, he clicked the final key…and the dollars fell all over the place.

Governor Rendell immediately exclaimed, "None of the dollars are landing on the targets!"

And, Jack Dangermond replied, "not yet, but they are all landing on the map!"

The Most Important Truths

Sometimes the most important truths can also be the most obvious -- if we know how to look for them.

Our job is to make sure we land the resources on the targets.

That's what CompStat was about.

This is what CitiStat, and StateStat are about.

It's what we are now doing in the State of Maryland with BayStat, with VetStat and with JobStat.

And it is a fundamentally different, smarter, and better way of governing for results.

We have also started to see this movement head into the Federal realm.

The way every state, with our federal government, deployed the Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars and tracked them openly online so every citizen could see whether the dollars were landing on the targets.

On the Federal level our BayStat system has been adopted by six other states. Through the EPA, President Obama created something called ChesapeakeStat, where the EPA tracks our efforts to reduce the nitrogen, phosphorous and sedimentary flow into the Bay.

Other new federal evolutions include HUDstat, FEMAstat, and NASAstat.

Greater Degrees of Difficulty

My beloved former chief of staff -- and they really only become beloved once they leave -- Matt Gallagher, used to caution all of us that putting a "stat" on the back-end of a word doesn't make you accomplish things.

That's especially true in State government.

When you move from municipal government, where everything you do is visible to the eye, to state government -- where so many of the things you work on are invisible to citizens -- greater degrees of difficulty require greater degrees of collaboration.

And so we've had to do some things at a deeper level, broader level.

A few concepts have been essential to that effort.

First, the clear articulation of Strategic Goals with Deadlines. Second, the concept of Delivery. And third, the development of Common Platforms for Progress.

Let me touch on each of these, beginning with the clear articulation of Strategic Goals with Deadlines.

Strategic Goals and Deadlines

In every city, people understand whether their mayor is doing the job or not, because every mayor shares the same basic mission statement: cleaner, safer, healthier, better place for kids.

At the State level, the goals become much more amorphous. Our strategic goals contribute to one larger goal, and that is creating jobs and expanding opportunities.

We believe that the way we do this is to set strategic goals in improving the skills of our people, improving the security of our people, improving the sustainability of our way of life, and improving the health of our people.

Related to this is our use of dashboards. Making sure that any citizen has the executive view that empowers them to see whether their government is actually on target to achieve its goals.

So whether it's on climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, whether it's improving by 25 percent our career and college readiness, whether it's reducing violent crime by 20 percent by the end of 2012--we actually hit 24 percent--every citizen can see what the plan is.

Each of these 16 strategic goals is online. We have set time-bound, interim benchmarks for their attainment. And for each goal we have published and posted on-line a, "Delivery Plan" -- which leads me to the concept of "Delivery."


I first heard Michael Barber, who used to work for the Blair government in the United Kingdom, talk about this concept of "Delivery" which he pioneered.

He said, "When you're responding to a citizen complaint about a pothole, there are three links in that chain. The citizen calls your 311 center to complain about the pothole, crew is dispatched to fix the pothole, crew fixes the pothole. Three links.

"If you're trying to raise the reading and math scores of third graders throughout your state, there are a lot more links in that chain.

"There's the little boy or girl, the parent, teacher, principal, superintendent, county board of education, county government, state superintendent, state board of education, the legislature. Then the Governor. And if any one of those links breaks down, you don't deliver the goal of raising third grade reading and math scores."

So we embraced that concept of delivery and we have now integrated it into our performance measurement system. Every Delivery Plan identifies the human links in the chain of responsibility for delivering the public goods we pursue.

We track performance to the plan so that everyone knows when any given link is delivering and when any link is failing to deliver. We account for external variables, we adjust and adapt, all with a view to Deliver.

Common Platforms for Progress

"People make it happen," legendary American Police Commissioner Bill Bratton observed, "but Common Platforms make it possible."

Understanding and harnessing the powerful connections in these human chains of delivery requires the building of Common Platforms for Progress.

What is CitiStat? It's a common platform. What is our energy grid? It is a common platform.

Why this obsession with health IT? Because we need to have a common platform in order to dial up wellness and reduce avoidable hospital room admissions, in order to better manage the chronic conditions of otherwise countless individuals…

Our physical infrastructure -- the roads, the highways, interoperable communications, broadband -- all common platforms.

Personalized learning through digital education systems -- common platforms.

Our watersheds, our riversheds, and landscapes -- natural common platforms for life whose health we affect by the choices we make in how we feed, fuel, and heal our world…

Technology has arrived at a point where these common platforms not only facilitate relentless collaborations, but they also allow for crowd-based solutions on a massive scale.

Crowd-based solutions that rise up from the power of individual actions -- better informed, better connected, and more deeply aware.


The challenge of our times is enormous.

To create jobs and expand middle-class opportunity at a time when human population growth now depletes world resources faster than our planet can regenerate them. To make the needed change from a global economy of depletion to more localized economies of regeneration.

We can only solve the challenges we face if we better understand the connections that we share. How we produce our food, how we produce our energy, how we heal this planet of ours and improve our security…

We're not going to create a better future if we fear it.

As our challenge is great so, too, is our capacity, our technology and our potential for greater compassion and deeper understanding…

Mindful, individual action is the key.

Action based on awareness, compelled by intention, motivated by a deep preference for a better future, and empowred by a modern, collaborative, performance-driven government.

I'm not dreaming of some utopia here. I'm talking about more effective public administration. I'm talking about the difficult and urgently important work of a second American revolution.

Thank you.

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