Sunday, July 5, 2015

Sustainable Governments and Strategic Planning

Upon reviewing the material for this course, my frustration with the government grew stronger. Since I began working for a local government, I have realized the blaze approach that most take when it comes to planning of  any sort, unless it is in an ordinance or law. The readings spurred me to research any information that may exist about governments and strategic planning. Other than the UK, I found nearly nothing about the use of strategic planning for any level of government which is pivotal if it is to evolve and remain sustainable. I did come upon a research article posted by UNC, "The Role of Local Government In Economic Development". This article conducted extensive research to discover if the local governments in North Carolina were doing what needed to be done to stimulate economic development and why they may be failing. Overall, the results were overwhelmingly poor and demonstrated the importance of all levels of government for our sustainability and growth. The most important area for a government to focus on to be successful is in their goals, planning and accountability. Unfortunately, this article highlighted that economic development "was not typically guided by systematic planning and strategic focus. Instead, it was akin to 'shooting at anything that flies and shooting at anything that falls to the ground" (Morgan,13). This was very disheartening for me because I have witnessed this and was hoping it was only where I was, not a problem that was rampant. Here lies my frustration. We have extensive knowledge, education and experience behind our governments and from students emerging from school. It does not make sense as to why we are we not utilizing these resources to use a strategic approach to our government planning. Our lecture notes, articles, and readings for this course thus far, all clearly demonstrate the importance of strategic planning for a business to be successful and the same approach needs to be used for our governments. Our residents are our customers and if they are not satisfied, how are we to expect them to support us and feel as though we are reliable when it comes to their needs. Strategy, as defined in our readings, is necessary to beat competitors and not succumb to the effects of competition. Our future and sustainability as a country needs to be viewed as a business and our residents are our customers. If the government cannot begin to approach its planning, goals, and accountability through strategic planning, the government will be a perfect example to companies as to why they should ensure they utilize strategic planning.

 Morgan, Jonathan Q. " The Role of Local Government in Economic Development".UNC School of Government. June 2009. PDF File.

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