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Archive for June, 2015

The Dallas Streetcar: Intergovernmental Collaboration At Work

June 30, 2015 1 Comment

Dallas has a well-earned reputation as a can-do city that aims high and more often than not hits the target. Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) is widely recognized as a highly innovative, well-governed, and capably managed transportation authority that has aggressively expanded service over the years, including putting in place the country’s largest light-rail network. And regional cooperation – spearheaded by the North … Read the rest

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What Can You Do About the Inevitable Centrifugal Force On Your Board?

June 24, 2015 1 Comment

Diverse People in Meeting With Speech BubblesAs their half-day mini-retreat came to a close, the members of the board’s governance committee were feeling the kind of deep satisfaction that comes from doing an important, high-stakes governing job really well.  They’d updated the profile of board member attributes and qualifications (e.g., “successful experience serving on at least one other public or nonprofit board”) that they would use in finding candidates to fill the three seats coming vacant in a couple of months, and they’d identified two stakeholder organizations that should be represented on the board:  the local community hospital and largest manufacturing firm in the region. 

This … Read the rest

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Beware of the Emperor’s New Clothes Syndrome

June 17, 2015 1 Comment

iStock_000020585606Large“You’re pretty obviously over your head and can’t really understand what we’re doing.  Instead of getting people riled up, why don’t you get yourself up to speed and join the team?”  This is what I was told in so many words several years ago – early in my public management career – when I had questioned the progress that a consulting team reported it was making in upgrading the financial management system of a large public transportation agency.  Reflecting on that experience years later, I think what was at work was a modern version of that classic cautionary tale, “The … Read the rest

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