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Why novelty is fun and change is hard

August 19, 2011

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I was having a lovely dinner this week at my favorite Thai place, and thought how lucky I am to live in a region with such a broad variety of food options.  Before you think this is a restaurant review blog, let me shift gears into how this got me thinking more about change.  When […]

Waiting it out

July 26, 2011


“Donna, you know as well as I do that these city manager shakeups always peter out. We just have to wait.”  – Ron Swanson, Parks and Recreation Recently in a Front-Runners training, an employee asked Executive Constantine whether his reform agenda (integrating continuous improvement and employee engagement into the culture of King County) would last. […]

An open door meeting in King County

June 13, 2011

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Some of you may have heard that Records and Licensing Services (RALS) has started a Lean Journey.  If this sounds a little woo woo, well, it did to me, too. But that didn’t keep me from volunteering the second time the e-mail went out to my office asking who wanted to be on the LEAN […]

Book recommendation: Extreme Government Makeover by Ken Miller

May 17, 2011


Ken Miller’s latest book Extreme Government Makeover discusses how to address the problems that are affecting government.  The book is based on three underlying principles –the work of government is noble, government employees are amazing, and the systems in government are a mess. Ken builds an analogy based on the “house of government”, and it […]

Why an engaged workforce

April 28, 2011

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The County Executive talked about the need for engaging the workforce, and highlighted the concept as a key element in meeting the long term goals of the County.  There is some interesting research that has been done that puts the value of employee engagement in real concrete terms.  A Study conduct by Gallup Consulting compared […]

Death by meeting

November 9, 2010


A Book review In this highly readable corporate “fable” about a company and its management challenges, the author entertainingly highlights the perils of  the weekly staff meeting. Specifically, what is the impact of having a meeting that has conflicting “purposes?” Dreading reading yet another management book for business audiences, I pleasantly tore though this one […]

Positive reinforcement: Getting the best out of people

October 28, 2010


I found this article about leadership, “Does Your Team Have the Four Essential Types?”, really helpful.  Paul Maritz, president and C.E.O. of the software firm VMware, spoke about how to get the best out of other people, noting: ” I’ve learned that you only really get the best out of other people when you do […]