Government That Works: The Results Revolution in the States

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The go-to book on efforts underway to apply business concepts to state government.

Endorsed by four governors.
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A GROWING ARMY OF PUBLIC SERVANTS, frustrated with “business as usual” in state government, are joining the Results Revolution. Deeply committed to delivering superb service to the citizens of their states, they have begun adopting state-of-the-art management practices that are making the work of government far more effective and efficient.

Addressing the fact that most Americans feel deeply dissatisfied with government at all levels, the results revolutionaries have resolved to eliminate waste, improve responsiveness, and deliver results that will win back the trust and admiration of their constituents. 

Government That Works: The Results Revolution in the States provides a detailed and practical blueprint for a new system of management any state and its agencies can use. The system relies on collecting and analyzing accurate data, setting ambitious goals for improved performance, measuring progress toward those goals, and closing the gap. Stressing the need for utter transparency and full accountability for results, the system drives the breakthroughs and innovative solutions every state needs in order to satisfy its customers — its citizens. 

The results revolutionaries are transforming “the way we do things around here,” setting high standards, empowering workers to make decisions that benefit the customer, reducing bureaucratic red tape, and borrowing many best practices from business, such as Lean and project management. All are aimed at improving everything from the waiting time for a driver’s license to the quality of education and child welfare. 

In this book you will meet many heroes of the revolution — smart, dedicated, and hardworking government officials who have begun to reap the benefits of the “best of the best” management techniques, from sweeping new approaches to fostering full employee engagement to scorecards that show workers what they need to do to deliver exceptional service. Their ranks include Governors O’Malley, Snyder, Kitzhaber, Inslee and Haslam, COOs Michael Jordan and Greg Adams, and agency heads such as Colette Peters, Rebecca Hunter, Steve Arwood, Ed Burckle and John Batiste, to name a few.

The system you will learn in this book draws from the author’s previous book, Business at the Speed of Now. 


Government That Works showcases the critical shift underway in state government and the inspiring results being achieved. There is a great opportunity for the states to collaborate in streamlining state government, improving the lives of our people and redefining the course of our nation.” – Governor John Hickenlooper, Colorado

“As a governor, there is nothing more important to me than delivering results. Government That Works is full of practical and proven methods that show how to do exactly that.” – Governor John Kitzhaber, Oregon

“Bernard has concocted a powerful antidote for the deepening pessimism about America’s future. He combines extracts of what’s working with a tincture of practical advice into a prescription for transforming government.” – David Giuliani, Founder, Sonicare/Co-Founder, Washington Business Alliance

“John M. Bernard has expertly adapted the efficiency and leanness required for success in the business world to the public sector where it has been most desperately needed. A perfect checklist for any public leader in the country!”– Marshall Goldsmith, a Thinkers 50 Top Ten Global Business Thinker and top-ranked executive coach

“John Bernard cares about making government work for the people. His approachable style of writing brings issues alive and helps you imagine how things could work better for all of us,” –Lord Jonathon Evans, Former Director General of MI5, Member of the House of Lords, United Kingdom

“If you are concerned about America, read this book. The concepts it talks about have kept business viable and will work in government.” – Kent Kresa, Chairman Emeritus, Northrup Grumman/Chairman of the Board, General Motors (during the bailout)