Governments are complex, multi-layered organisations and, not surprisingly, government effectiveness and efficiency have many dimensions. However, the diversity that exists among nations and their governments tends to obscure three key facts. First, many of the problems involved in managing government are a result of a few underlying causes. Second, the underlying causes of poor government performance are similar in nature across a diverse set of countries. Third, countries have successfully dealt with these (few) underlying causes using remarkably similar approaches. Viewed in this light, the challenge of government performance management appears more manageable.
Written succinctly in non-technical language, this book is meant to help government leaders identify the underlying causes of poor government performance and then apply proven strategies to fix these. The book cautions Government leaders against the natural temptation to cure the symptoms - this approach represents a temporary solution at best, and the list of symptoms can be too large to fix. Fixing underlying causes, on the other hand provides a more sustainable long-term solution.