Do you wonder how government works and what gets in the way of it working? Are you frustrated with governmental leadership? Do you want to know ways that governments and leaders can be more effective? Our special guest John Bernard is here to answer these and many other questions about the ways government works and doesn’t work.

Our special guest is John Bernard, a consultant and author who works with state governments and their agencies to help them create results. As John says, he “sells hope” to governments and their leaders to make a difference.

Listen in as John shares his ideas on actionable leadership and management strategies to make government work.

The Impact Leadership Podcast is brought to you by Cardivera, the leadership development eco-system that helps your grow your people, grow your business and grow your life.

Show Notes

In this episode you’ll learn…

  • States on average create 300 new laws annually
  • Results are often not the measure in state government
  • The current reality is that most state laws are written by lobbyists
  • The key shift is to focus on and measure results
  • Brookings Institute Study – Basis for federal lawmakers’ decisions … the facts constituted 3% of the decision
  • One big problem is we don’t learn from each other – virtually every social issue has been solved by someone, but we don’t learn from and adopt what we know works.
  • Three Phases of Government Maturation – 1. Reaction Driven (vast majority today); 2. Results Driven (change the decision-making mechanism to make things better); 3. Social Good Driven (focus attention, policies and dollars where we know it works – addressing root causes to transform society)
  • One solution is to have a common set of measures across all the states with resulting accountability
  • What’s required to be a transformational leader in governmental leadership
  • Key problem – when programs save money, the government takes it away
  • In government, operations and process inefficiencies and waste are close to 60% (this the capacity to do whatever you want to do)
  • Leadership and management matters in government
  • Measurements and dashboards are essential, but not for punishment … they must be used to incite exploration, to inspire understanding and dig into the truth to find out what’s going on
  • Trust is built, not granted
  • Key change is to impress across the broad spectrum of government of the value of results – it’s an organizing mechanism
  • Focus on what actually works versus what we think works
  • Most states have scorecards which are really valuable to assess a state’s performance (and governments must manage with these scorecards)
  • Essential to assess whether the scorecards and dashboards are measuring the right things (e.g. Ford Motor Company – all the dashboards are in green but we reported a $5B loss)
  • There’s a difference between measures and results (measures must align with desired results)


Special Guest

John Bernard

Author, Speaker, Consultant, Podcast Host, and State Government Revitalizer

Your Hosts

Jeff Nischwitz

Author, speaker, coach, consultant, and
Chief SHIFT Officer of Cardivera

Craig Mathews

Strategist, innovator, consultant, and
CEO of Cardivera