Strategic Org Design in Government

Strategic Org Design in Government

In the private sector the most successful companies are those that embrace change. Companies that are nimble and change their structure through reorganization are more likely to capitalize on opportunities in the market or conversely survive during lean times. By organizing customer back, seeking synergies, and focusing on the core mission, the most innovative companies position themselves to be more efficient, effective, and customer focused in the marketplace.

In contrast to the private sector re-orgs in government are extremely rare. It’s not uncommon to find agencies and divisions that have had substantially the same organization for decades. In Nebraska state government the Ricketts’ administration sees that as a missed opportunity, and is proposing legislation that would enable the strategic re-organization of several state agencies.


Governor Ricketts has proposed to combine the Department of Health and Human Services Veteran’s Home division with the Nebraska Department of Veteran’s Affairs. This move will allow the DVA to better organize around their customer, the veteran. Now a single department will provide end to end services for Nebraska’s veterans, and members of the veteran community will have a “one stop shop” for all their services and benefits.

Additionally, the Governor has proposed legislation that would combine the Department of Roads and the Department of Aeronautics into a single Department of Transportation. This merger will create a single department that is able to optimize and integrate the management of all aspects of Nebraska’s transportation infrastructure, while enabling more efficient resource sharing, and ensuring more agency money goes to roads and airfields rather than administrative overhead.

These initiatives are illustrative of the types of opportunities created by running government like a business and embracing opportunities for strategic org design. Elected leaders and senior government management professionals should follow the example of Nebraska and frequently evaluate if their departments are organized in the optimum way to deliver efficient, effective, and customer focused services to constituents.

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