The Ethics Challenge
is a three-hour highly participatory workshop that teaches how to apply
the ethical principles that we all know to the work of government. It’s
very different from the usual ethics training that mostly just warns
against misuse of government assets, bribery, and conflicts of interest.
Participants will learn what
ethical behavior means and how it differs from merely behaving legally
or in compliance with the rules. They will gain
experience by working in small groups on ethical dilemmas that public
servants face. Finally, they will learn what
special ethical demands are made of bosses and subordinates.
Leadership and Change
believe that organizational leaders can make HUGE changes
through their behavior—how they spend their time, how they trust and
people, how they focus on their vision, how they "walk the walk." And
I love to help leaders transform their organizations through their
behavior. Only a very few come by this personal leadership naturally;
of us are shy, uncertain, and modest but we can learn it. I did.
program is built around my book, Confessions of a Civil Servant:
Lessons in Changing America's Government and Military, especially
Chapter 15, "Ten Lessons in Leadership." I've conducted it
times for audiences of federal and local leaders, and for senior
executives of the British and Scottish governments. It never fails to
grab the audience and to send them away determined to make specific
changes in their behavior
What Works, What Doesn't, and Why
workshop uses my personal experience in leading successful and
unsuccessful change efforts at the Pentagon and White House. I describe
the efforts with vivid stories, then explore with the participants the
lessons from the experiences. We finish by drawing some generalizations
about why some transformation efforts succeed and some fail.
recently conducted two seminars on this subject, and got
extraordinarily high evaluations from participants. One was with a
group of Boeing executives at the University of Southern California.
They rated my session 9.7 out of 10 for its usefulness, and 9.5 out of
10 for enjoyability. The instructor who led the course wrote me the
for your fascinating presentation. Your experiences in
the giant bureaucracy of the federal government were very well received
and, I think for many participants, quite inspirational.
all, if such dramatic progress can be made in an organization as large
as the U.S. government, it should be easy to change Boeing!”
other was for a group of Naval Intelligence leaders (both military and
civilians) at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School. They gave me an
overall grade of 4.93 out of 5.
for the Mission
some organizations stifle the human spirit, some liberate it, and how
to make sure yours is liberating. This is built around
Red Hats, Red Scarves, Red Tails. I start with colorful and
entertaining stories of misguided efforts (including mine) to eliminate
excess and create excellence, starting with consolidations of
procurement, personnel, and other functions. I describe in
the most excellent organization I found, and how it flipped my thinking
and approach to leadership in government.
Finally I explain the
differences between centralized and excellent organizations, and give
the participants a handy, very simple way to tell whether they’re on
the path to excellence. Participants will be inspired to strive for
excellence, undeterred by the forces in large organizations, public or
private, that make the effort often difficult or painful.
Player or Team Leader
the relationship between organizational norms and change, and the
conflict between needing to follow the norms to be a team player, and
needing to violate them to lead change. Participants discuss how to
manage the conflicts, and which norms they would need to violate in
order to lead change.
This is a valuable tool for leaders. It
touches a chord with lots of leaders because they face the same
conflicts as they try to lead change.