The world that we sometimes call ‘real’ seems to be suffering from a critical lack of imagination. Generations past had the imagination to build nations, to create global institutions to keep the peace and promote economic development and they created systems that dramatically improved the health and welfare of their own citizens. Today it can sometimes seem that our governments are more preoccupied with tearing down those institutions with little idea of what to put in their place.
For some years I have written and worked in the field of public strategy, providing consultancy advice and training to governments and public agencies, making the case for imagination in the creation of public value.
My book, written with Nick Birks, describes the challenges of being strategic in the public sphere and offers advice on how to overcome these challenges. Strategy is vital to effective and efficient public service delivery as well as successful governance and leadership. The book provides a concise yet systematic overview of the achievements, downfalls and complexities of public strategy in today’s globalised and often market-driven world. It describes the place of strategy in civic societies whose citizens are more interconnected and vocal than ever. It shows that successful strategic planning goes well beyond problem-solving to developing adaptable plans that can evolve as requirements and circumstances change. And it explains why muddling through simply won’t work. Emphasising the importance of applying a variety of techniques to the process of strategy-creation, Rethinking Public Strategy reassesses the key factors that can deliver significant improvements in public services and build public value. It looks at why public strategy is distinctive, as well as the principles it has in common with the corporate domain. The book includes numerous case studies from around the globe from South Africa to Singapore, the USA to Germany, and from China to the Czech Republic that ground the exposition in real experience. It offers an essential guide to the art of strategy in the contemporary public sector, and encourages readers to evaluate critically the various approaches to strategy.
The book is available on Amazon.