Each of us is aware that change is everywhere we look. No segment of society is exempt. We as the public are dealing with the advent of continuous and ever increasing change. Change in technology, change in resource availability, change in national demographics, change in workforce diversity, change in simply every facet of the organizational environment and context in which public institutions must operate. Change, as the saying goes, has truly become the only constant.
The challenge for organizations is whether they can become flexible enough, fast enough. And will they do it on terms set by the organizational culture, and then adapt and succeed in the face of it or will they challenge the status quo and attempt to transform the prevailing culture. What follows is the story of a public organization, which is trying to change the context under which it performs rather than be changed by that context.
In the realm of Philosophy, as
Erasmus of Rotterdam, the first truly great humanist of the modern age once said, "The intent suffices in a great design". Erasmus, no doubt was right. However, beyond simple intent, or to phrase it in the current vernacular, vision, action is required to bring the vision to life. In any age, there are those individuals willing to challenge the status quo, whether it is in the field of politics, science, business, or public administration. If these individuals are to enjoy a measure of success, they must be willing to take an inordinate amount of risk and withstand criticism, indifference and cynicism from every quarter. Most importantly, they must have the capacity to envision a great design and then transform that vision into action. A skeptic would find little or no relationship between philosophy and the modern practice of the public. A purist...