Tuesday Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, after eight months of effort, rolled out what I believe is the most comprehensive plan for measuring state government effectiveness in the nation. While doing research for my next book, Rhetoric to Results, How the States are Getting Down to Business and Rediscovering the Promise of America, I have studied efforts underway in the states and Inslee’s is impressive.
Since Inslee’s inauguration in January 2013, and under the leadership of Dr. Mary Alice Heuschel, his chief of staff, cabinet leaders from every state agency have spent hundreds of hours building out a comprehensive scorecard for Washington State. This scorecard will ensure that the state is focused on the right things and is holding itself accountable to make improvements. Governor Inslee has a strong commitment to results-driven government and he made this expectation clear to the Executive Branch from day one.
Among the documents released today are:
The Governor’s Vision - A working Washington built on education and innovation… where all Washingtonians thrive.
The Governor’s Mission – To build a thriving Washington by fostering the spirit of continuous improvement, enhancing the conditions for job creation, preparing students for the future, and valuing our environment, our health, and our people.
The Governor’s Five Goals-
(Under which he is organizing his scorecard measures)
Goal 1: World Class Education
Goal 2: Prosperous Economy
Goal 3: Sustainable Energy and Clean Environment
Goal 4: Healthy and Safe Communities Goal 5: Efficient, Effective, and Accountable Government
To translate the goals into measures, Governor Inslee created five goal teams made up of a mix of agency, board, and commission leaders. The goal teams developed Governor Outcome Measures (high-level measures under each of the goals) and a set of leading indicators for each outcome measure. Leading indicators will include targets for improvement with specific leaders assigned and accountable to deliver written plans and improved results.
In the coming weeks the Governor is gathering feedback and ideas from stakeholders, legislators, and citizens alike. The input will be used to create a final set of measures. Then, over the coming months, measures and improvement plans will come online for citizens to review. Citizens will also be able to see results as they are achieved over time.
Inslee is demonstrating courageous political leadership in an age when the politics of accountability can be turned into political crossfire. But Inslee’s action promises to change what is often assumed to be the primary political goal — getting re-elected — in exchange for the goal of making Washington a better place to become educated, start a career, raise and enjoy a family, and retire securely into the state’s beautiful landscape.
Inslee was serious in his inaugural speech when he said, “Today we begin a multi-year effort to bring disruptive change to Olympia, starting with the very core of how we do business.”
He went on to say, “We will introduce performance metrics where it counts, giving us the data we need to fix what’s broken, cut what we don’t need and replace rhetoric with quantifiable results. But this effort is about more than measurement. It’s about instituting a culture shift that will endure well beyond my administration.”
You can see the Governors work at Results Washington