One City’s Experiment Creates a Frankenstein

Lessons from a Learning Lab –The Experimenting Organization Part 3 “How insidious Nature is when one is trying to get at it experimentally,” said Albert Einstein. “Should our living laboratory just die?” said a Daily Camera editorialist in Boulder, Colorado. Einstein marveled at experimentation. The Boulder writer was fed up with it. In mid-July of… Read More One City’s Experiment Creates a Frankenstein

Experimenting Jurisdictions Put the ‘Science’ Into Management Sciences

In my last post, I discussed the value of “systematically trying things out” in local government. I argued that thoughtful research could be an effective way to learn what will work even when long trend lines of data only show what the problem is, not the solution. Survey research aimed at understanding outcomes – like… Read More Experimenting Jurisdictions Put the ‘Science’ Into Management Sciences

The Experimenting Organization: A Giant Leap for Manager-kind

Say citizen survey results show that your residents are growing ever more afraid to walk on downtown streets at night. This opinion trend signals to the Business Improvement District (BID) director that management needs to stop or reverse the fear. What all the best opinion (or performance) data do not tell the manager is if… Read More The Experimenting Organization: A Giant Leap for Manager-kind

The “E’s” of Action

Six Strategies to Create Strong Government Initiatives Anyone who consults for government knows the odds aren’t great that your data, conclusions or recommendations will make it direct from ink or electron to gavel or ballot. The itinerary taking elected officials from truth to action is peppered with stops for counterclaims, political pressures, longstanding promises, showboating… Read More The “E’s” of Action

Is Transparency Worth Its Reputation?

By Tom Miller Government transparency is short hand for management that is accountable, welcoming and honest. Transparent government is good government with expected outcomes like more fairness, economic strength, citizen engagement and quality of life for residents. These anticipated outcomes are to be admired even if only imagined. One can conjure a county or even… Read More Is Transparency Worth Its Reputation?

Data Envy? Don’t Worry; Your Data ARE Big Enough!

By Thomas I Miller Have you begun to feel the pressure to start collecting, storing and analyzing data about your residents’ consumer behavior, television viewing habits, doctor visits, left turns? Has the talk about linking resident movements with the tides and sun spots gotten a bit outré? These pressures come from the push for big… Read More Data Envy? Don’t Worry; Your Data ARE Big Enough!

Seeking the Gold Standard of Survey Accuracy (Part II)

By Tom Miller Part one of this blog was published Jan. 6, 2015. Click here to view. As I looked through jurisdictions’ surveys conducted by my own organization and interviewed Scott Keeter, director of survey research at PEW Research Center, I uncovered a number of examples that offer reasonable proof of the accuracy of surveys… Read More Seeking the Gold Standard of Survey Accuracy (Part II)

How Can You Be So Sure? Seeking the Gold Standard of Survey Accuracy

By Tom Miller Humans are programmed to find solutions. But, even so, we’re not that great at it. Every day, from kids to public managers, people decide what works and what’s good. A small conclusion can affect your lunch while a big one might change the lives of 5 million immigrants. Sure, we rely on… Read More How Can You Be So Sure? Seeking the Gold Standard of Survey Accuracy