Sunday, July 19, 2015

A Clear Strategy?

We have learned an enormous amount in last few weeks about strategy and how it is pivotal for the success of an organization. Maintaining my theme of understanding our government, I chose to delve deeper into the City of Detroit’s problems and understand where they are headed after bankruptcy.

First, it is clear that there was not strategy initially for the City of Detroit. They failed to acknowledge problems, expect accountability and evolve over time. As a result of the city’s unchanged habits, they had to file for bankruptcy which was completed in Dec. 2014. A new mayor has been elected and is tasked with reorganizing and establishing a stable government for City. I searched for the strategy of the Mayor, Mike Duggan, for the future of Detroit, but only found a statement about the strategy. “His immediate priority as Mayor has been to implement a coordinated strategy to address the numerous challenges residents have faced over the years, most notably, blight, public lighting, transportation and public safety… His ultimate goal is to reverse the 60-year population decline that began around the time he was born.” (City of Detroit, 2015). I was not able to find an actual strategy statement anywhere on the website or with a search of their website. After reading our article ‘Can You Say What Your Strategy Is?’, it is clear that the City of Detroit is not on the path of sustainable recovery or revitalization. They have not established a clear objective, scope or advantage in their strategy that can empower the multiple levels of the organization to proceed with the path of revitalization.

The articles below show some of the major problems that contributed to the bankruptcy and still exist today. I followed up on the City of Detroit website and viewed their news. Most of the articles tell about actions that the City is taking and though the objective is clear, the strategy to accomplish the objective is not. This is a direct result of a failure to properly define a clear strategy by the Mayor. The Mayor and other administrators have not considered the capabilities of the City and continue to spend large amounts of money trying to remedy problems that were created by spending. A clear and effective strategy would begin with a reevaluation of the processes, understanding the capabilities of the City and needs of its residents. A better understanding of the City of Detroit would provide the Mayor with a clear objective and scope of the most important needs and projects and any advantages that they have to benefit them following the bankruptcy. Clearly, the City may have finished its bankruptcy, but they are far from being out of dangerous waters. The Mayor and administration desperately need to develop and effective strategy for the City that all employees can understand and put into practice to save a once vibrant City.

City of Detroit, Mayors Office. 2015.Web. July 19, 2015.

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