The Governor’s Delivery Unit in Maryland: An interview with Mike Powell, State of Maryland – Episode #16

powell profileMike Powell is the Chief Innovation Officer for the State of Maryland under Governor Martin O’Malley. In that role, he helps oversee the Governor’s Delivery Unit.

For public leaders in the United States, the Governor’s Delivery Unit is a useful example of setting specific, ambitious strategic goals, of being transparent with citizens about progress, and of creating a process internally — with close leadership involvement — to “own” those goals and drive progress towards them.

In particular, the Delivery Unit is designed to help achieve 15 strategic goals that are important to citizens and that cut across traditional agency silos. Its website tracks progress, including graphs, background information, and flags that show whether each goal has been delivered, is on track or progressing, or has had insufficient progress so far.

Mike previously worked for IBM as a consultant and was a CityStat analyst in Baltimore earlier in his career.

As background, it’s useful to note another O’Malley Administration initiative mentioned in the interview: StateStat. Every few weeks or months, depending on the agency, each agency leadership team comes to a StateStat meeting in the Governor’s Office to review the agency’s performance data and to discuss, with the Governor’s staff, ways to improve outcomes. The Governor’s Delivery Unit, in contrast, is closely related (and managed by StateStat staff) but is focused on cross-cutting goals that span agencies and that have been identified by the Governor as key benchmarks for state progress.

Web extra: Mike Powell discusses his role as Chief Innovator Officer for Maryland, answering a question that, as he has noted, he gets frequently: “What does a Chief Innovation Officer do?” [click here]