Holistic Organizational Effectiveness in the Public Sector

In many ways public sector (governmental)  organizations face the same Holistic Organizational Effectiveness issues that businesses, not-for-profit and other types of organizations face. Their ability to consistently achieve their desired outcomes depends on the effectiveness of their leadership, governance, people, culture, strategies, mission clarity and appropriateness, information technology, processes, organizational structures, suppliers, enterprise risk assessment and mitigation, financial management, sustainability and corporate social responsibility efforts, innovativeness and other key drivers of holistic organizational effectiveness.

Most governmental organizations at the national, state, county and local levels face additional challenges not typically faced by businesses. These include often having elected people or political appointees as top leaders (often lacking subject matter and leadership expertise and experience in the functions/services performed ), various constraints on firing and replacing poor performing employees, and less accountability to customers (constituents). Budgets and changes in the mission of governmental organizations often come more from political considerations and ideology than from real world requirements for change.

In the Holistic Organizational Effectiveness Survey the overall average rating for governmental organizations is 3.14, a low rating. The following table compares the overall ratings for all industries combined and the results from the Government sector.

HOE Survey Section   Averages
All Industries Government
Overall 3.45 3.14
Strategy 3.60 3.21
Senior Leadership Team 3.51 3.19
Governance 3.96 3.79
Culture 3.46 3.23
Organizational Structures, Systems and Processes 3.21 2.99
Workforce Excellence 3.26 2.86
Performance Measures and Reward Systems 3.07 2.59
Technology and Business Process   Effectiveness 3.32 3.14
Financial Planning, Management and Measurement 4.06 3.95
Business Risk Assessment and Mitigation 3.80 3.61
Environmental, Sustainability and   Responsibility 3.80 3.47
Overall Organizational effectiveness 3.14 2.87

Key Questions:

  1. Whatever country you live in, how would you rate holistic organizational effectiveness at the national, state/province, county and city/town levels?
  2. What might be done to increase awareness of holistic organizational effectiveness in the public sector and the benefits that can be achieved (e.g. budgetary, better outcomes, greater efficiency, increased customer/constituent satisfaction, etc.) for governmental organizations and the public?
  3. In your country, state/province, county and city/town what needs to be done to increase holistic organizational effectiveness?


About Howard Deutsch

Howard Deutsch is the CEO of Quantisoft, a New Jersey based full-service survey company conducting employee, organizational effectiveness, leadership feedback, customer satisfaction, IT customer satisfaction, enterprise risk and other types of customized surveys since 1999. Howard has extensive senior line management, internal and external consulting experience in many industries. He has a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an MBA in Finance from St. John's University. He was an adjunct faculty member for several years at the Seton Hall University School of Business.
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