America’s form of government, borne out of an ideal of freedom and equality, has, for all of our short-term criticisms, been the object of continuous improvement since its founding. Adapting to social and economic changes, population shifts and growth, technological, environmental and natural resource challenges, what seems to be an immovable inertial monument is actually under constant revision and improvement.
The leaders of this charge we call statesmen (and women), persons who are able to fashion compromise between many disparate groups. They are beholden to the voices of so many customers, it seems impossible at times that any change could be effected. Yet these public sector leaders are able somehow to create many small changes for the better to enable the monument to move slightly. Could we call that government kaizen?
The State of Maine calls it “Bending the Curve.” Listen to Walter Lowell, Director of the Office of Lean Management for Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services, describe Maine’s five-year effort to improve quality, shorten lead-time and reduce costs in Maine State government. As the program has gained traction it has become a model for improvement in our publc sector, Lean’s next big frontier.
Here’s a sneak preview podcast of his upcoming presentation at our October 5-6 Northeast Shingo Conference.
(If you cannot see the audio player below, please visit http://wp.me/p1cOUS-9n to hear the sneak preview podcast.)
The conference is just around the corner. Enroll now and you may be the winner of a complete set of GBMP DVD’s – over two dozen titles including four new products to be released at the conference. Hope to see you there.
Our form of government, at least at the Federal level, may have been the object of continuous change, but I’d not say that it’s been continuously improved. The public sector as next frontier for lean? Considering government’s incredible and ongoing waste of resources, I agree wholeheartedly.