Demanding and achieving a better result.
by DvilleDem, Mon Sep 25, 2006 at 07:27:07 AM EDT
Written by Tony Barr Candidate PA 9th
This morning, over coffee and breakfast, I read about the book In Search of Excellence by Thomas Peters and Robert Waterman. In this book, the authors explore different management techniques to better understand what makes some businesses successful. In this book, the authors find 8 basic practices that make businesses successful. I was stunned as I read because they, in eight very short phrases, had expressed the objectives that I want to achieve once I am elected to Congress. Their prescriptions, I believe, apply to smart, effective government as well as successful business.
1) Having Bias for Action. My Dad's favorite phrase is "Do Something." My favorite question when I am on the campaign trail is, "What are you going to do?" I believe in action, and I'm tired of symbolic stands that don't do anything to make life in this district or country any better. "Stay the Course" isn't doing anything other than getting our men and women killed and maimed while wasting billions by the week. In addition, we are hemmorraghing good jobs in this country. It is time to do something that works.
- Staying Close to the Customer. As I travel around the district, I hear repeatedly that my opponent, Bill Shuster, has never comes around. I think this is ridiculous. I have discussed with my wife the possibility of getting an RV (the BARR-V?) once I'm elected to make it easier to travel the district so that I can meet with the citizens so that I can stay tuned to what their needs are and how they can be addressed at the federal level.
- Permitting Autonomy and Entrepreneurship. I believe in getting good people, and I believe in letting good people do their thing. It is important to know what is going on, but it is also important to let the process unfold.
- Relying on Rank-and-File Employees for Quality and Productivity Gains. This point is similar to the previous. Good people take pride in quality. Non-or unproductive steps in a task will be quickly identified by the people who do the tasks everyday. The key is to accept feedback regarding the process.
- Being Run by Hands-On Management who Inspect Facilities That Customers Use. Is our congressman inspecting first hand our roads, schools, businesses, etc? Is he listening to feedback regarding these conditions? I believe it is essential for a Congressman to get free of his handlers and to directly experience what regular people experience on a daily basis.
- Sticking to business that it knows how to run. The U.S. government should concern itself with matters of the Economy, Social Justice, and Defense. Areas that should be in the domain of the Churches should be left to the Churches. Areas that should be the domain of the individual should be left to the individual.
- Keeping a simple structure and a lean staff. I believe that it is essential to have constant contact with every member of my staff. If my staff is too big or unwieldy, this will be impossible, important information will not travel in its needed direction, and mistakes will be made.
- Maintaining tight control over core values even with a decentralized structure. I will be the Congressman. I listen to everybody, but I will enforce our values over my staff. When I am elected, I will be elected because the people of the 9th district want somebody who will work for working people. My staff will know this, live this, and breathe this.
I know this isn't sexy policy positions or emotionally charged rhetoric. I believe that stuff is important, but I also believe that it is just as important to do what you do well. My opponent, ideological differences aside, has not managed his office well. I hear complaints from constituents all the time. I believe that the citizens of Pennsylvania's 9th district deserve a smart, effective representative in Congress. Join me. You can find out more on my website: http://www.tonybarr2006.com