Economic Perspectives with Hopeton Hay on KAZI 88.7 FM in Austin, TX

Getting Big Things Done in Government Focus of Dec 6 Book Review

Posted by Hopeton on December 5, 2009

The December 6 guest on KAZI Book Review is William Eggers, co-author of If We Can Put a Man on the Moon…Getting Big Things Done in Government.  Listen to the interview on KAZI 88.7 FM, 12:30 p.m. – 1 p.m. central time in Austin or live online at http://www.live365.com/stations/kazifm?site=pro&play.  Eggers’ book addresses the frustration of the American people with our government’s series of high-profile failures (Iraq, Katrina, the financial meltdown) that seems to just keep getting longer.

It also covers the nation’s proud history of great achievements: victory in World War II, our national highway system, welfare reform, the moon landing.  Eggers believes we need more successes like these to reclaim government’s legacy of competence. In If We Can Put a Man on the Moon, Eggers and his co-author John O’Leary explain how to do it. The key? Understand-and avoid-the common pitfalls that trip up public-sector leaders during the journey from idea to results.

The authors identify pitfalls including:

  • The Partial Map Trap: Fumbling handoffs throughout project execution
  • The Tolstoy Syndrome: Seeing only the possibilities you want to see
  • Design-Free Design: Designing policies for passage through the legislature, not for implementation
  • The Overconfidence Trap: Creating unrealistic budgets and timelines
  • The Complacency Trap: Failing to recognize that a program needs change

Eggers is one of the country’s leading authorities on government reform. A global director for Deloitte Research and director of the Deloitte Public Leadership Institute, he is responsible for research and thought leadership for Deloitte’s public sector industry practice.

He is a former manager of the Texas Performance Review and director of e-Texas. He has advised governments around the world and his commentary has appeared in dozens of major media outlets including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Chicago Tribune.

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