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The Government We Need: How government can find its purpose

The Government We Need talks with Brian Elms about how government can ask the right questions and find its true public service purpose.

By GovFresh · October 7, 2019

In this episode

Sometimes, government works on the wrong problem.

By identifying the right problems to work on — and solving these with a performance and purpose-based mindset — government can better serve its true mission.

“Peak Performance” author Brian Elms thinks government should be constantly asking itself questions like, “Should we be doing this at all? Are we the ones that should be doing it? If not, can we stop doing it? Can we figure out a way to get better at all these things?”

When Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said he wanted train city employees how to spot and fix inefficiencies in their work, Brian is the person he asked to do it. The training operation he built, called Peak Academy, quickly became a fixture in Denver City Hall — it’s trained about 7,000 employees in seven years, and saved the city close to $30 million by identifying and eliminating wasteful work in the daily lives of government employees.

The initiative was so successful that other cities, states, and counties began adopting the model, and many have even made “Peak Performance” required reading. Brian now works with the Change and Innovation Agency, leading innovation academies all over the country.

Brian talks with The Government We Need about how government can ask the right questions and, by doing so, find its true public service purpose.