Some of the most difficult issues in public management revolve around making strategic choices for the future in an era of rapid social, cultural and technological change. In previous work we drew a contrast between new public management (NPM) approaches, which predominated in the period 1980-2002, and digital era governance (DEG) which grew fast in the 2000s. Since that time the rapid development of societal and technological uses of online processes has been matched by the seismic impact of the 2008 credit crunch and financial crisis, now mapping out as austerity regimes in many OECD countries. In this paper we review the current fortunes of NPM, which has not revived despite the pressure on public spending. By contrast, the first wave of digital-era governance changes have flourished and the importance of key DEG themes has increased – specifically reintegrating government services, pushing towards holistic delivery to clients and responding to the digitalization wave in public services. We also argue for the emergence of an influential ‘second wave’ of digital-era changes inside government, responding to the advent of the social web, cloud computing, apps development and many other recent phenomena moving advanced industrial societies further towards an online civilization.
I enjoyed Patrick’s presentation very much and liked the way he dealt with questions at the end of his talk. My ears pricked up particularly when he mentioned an interesting and powerful trinity: agility, disintermediation and productivity. I think these are key characteristics of the second wave Patrick and his colleagues are investigating. I noticed that Patrick and Leandro Carrera are co-authoring Growing the Productivity of Public Services (forthcoming from Edward Elgar, 2012).
Just as I was mulling over the ideas shared by Patrick I received an alert to a post by Wayne Goldsmith on Getting it right from the start: Building a Winning Sporting Team from the ground up. I thought Wayne’s Step 7 and Patrick’s trinity would make a great foundation for any group planning to improve.
Patrick and Wayne have encouraged me to think about how you would front end the advocacy, training and transformation required to make the second wave a ripple rather than a perfect storm. A starting point for me will be a 2004 CISCO paper Using Sport Analogy in High-Tech Management to Improve Productivity by Improving Personal and Team Performance
written by K. Houshmand, S . Goli, R. Esmaili, and C . H .Pham.
Surf Boat, Bude