If We Can Put a Man on the Moon
Getting Big Things Done in Government
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If We Can Put a Man on the Moon by William D. Eggers
Book DescriptionThe American people are frustrated with their government - dismayed by a series of high-profile failures (Iraq, Katrina, and the financial meltdown) that seems to just keep getting longer. Yet the US has a proud history of great achievements: victory in World War II, the national highway system, welfare reform, the moon landing. The US need more successes like these to reclaim the government's legacy of competence. In "If We Can Put a Man on the Moon", William Eggers and 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 recount surprisingly entertaining stories of public policy initiatives that succeeded beyond all imagination, including the Marshall Plan, the 1996 welfare reform and London's Congestion Charge. They also find lessons in failures, including Boston's Big Dig and the Challenger disaster. "If We Can Put a Man on the Moon" shows how government really works with an optimistic and non-partisan look at the kinds of large government endeavors that have shaped US history and that are unfolding in the news right now. Ultimately, however, the authors show us that 'good ideas' are just the beginning of a successful initiative. With proper design, commitment, implementation and re-evaluation, our leaders can once again accomplish big things. 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only the possibilities you want to see; Design-Free Design - Designing policies for passage through the legislature, not for implementation; The Overconfidence Trap - Creating unrealistic budgets and timelines; and, The Complacency Trap - Failing to recognize that a program needs change. At a time of unprecedented challenges, this book, with its abundant examples and hands-on advice, is the essential guide to making government work better. A must-read for every public official, this book will be of interest to anyone who cares about the future of democracy.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9781422166369
Classification: Central government
Format: Hardback (243mm x 165mm x 32mm)
Imprint: Harvard Business School Press
Publisher: Harvard Business School Publishing
Publish Date: 1-Nov-2009
Country of Publication: United States
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Books By Author William D. Eggers
Solution Revolution, Hardback (September 2013)
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Unlocking the Power of Networks, Paperback (January 2009)
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Government 2.0, Hardback (December 2004)
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Governing by Network, Hardback (November 2004)» View all books by William D. Eggers
Examines for the first time the US government's transformation from centralized control over public programmes to facilitating services through networks of nongovernmental entities, as seen through the experience of dozens of public innovators.
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Author Biography - William D. Eggers
William D. Eggers is one of the country's best known authorities on government reform. An author, a columnist, and popular speaker, for two decades Eggers has built a significant following among public sector thought leaders in America and overseas. His columns in Governing and Public CIO and feature articles in Government Executive regularly reach more than 100,000 readers. He is a sought after speaker, giving close to 100 speeches a year. Currently Mr. Eggers is the Global Research Director for Deloitte's public sector practice and Executive Director of its Public Leadership Institute. He is the author of several books on government reform. John O'Leary has both government and private sector experience. An expert in business process engineering, Mr. O'Leary has been a Vice President of Operations at Scudder Kemper Investments, the Director of Business Process Reengineering at Lycos, and a consulting manager with KPMG Peat Marwick. He is a 1984 graduate of MIT and holds a Master of Science degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
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