Twelve “better practices” that can help public leaders tackle key organizational challenges and boost results: An interview with Bob Behn, Professor, Harvard Kennedy School – Episode #124

Bob Behn of the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) is one of the leading thinkers on the subjects of public management and leadership. He has argued that public agencies are unlikely to produce better results simply by creating rules, requirements or performance systems. A more effective approach, he notes, is to help managers learn better leadership practices.

In particular, he recommends twelve practices or leadership skills that can help organizations strengthen their performance. Our discussion draws on his original paper on the topic, published by the IBM Center for the Business of Government, which discussed eleven of those practices.

To give us an overview, we’re joined by Bob Behn, speaking with us (probably with a baseball tie on) from Boston. A professor at the Harvard Kennedy School, he is the faculty chair of the executive program called Driving Government Performance. He also publishes monthly insights though his Public Leadership Report, which is available free online.

Web extra: Bob Behn describes the connection between the these twelve practices and the PerformanceStat approach to public leadership, which was the focus of his most recent book. [click here]