FOREWORDChange. No single word seems to describe so well what we experience every day. There are so many daily forces for change-computers, cell phones, global economy, industry mergers, balanced budget, global warming, scientific breakthroughs, demographic changes, and political upheavals. All these conspire to make each succeeding day and year of our lives substantially different. We all are familiar with the dynamics of adapting to change.
But, when it comes to changing government operations, many managers and employees shy from change. Perhaps it is due to the political environment, or the preference for stability. Or perhaps, it is because most managers were trained at a time when consistency was the major government value. Or, perhaps some change-gurus' books might lead one to believe the change leaders described were precise and very experienced in the way they made the changes. Whatever the reason, many people think reinvention is hard to achieve.
It is hard work-but it is not difficult. We are doing it now and are learning more every day. As a National Performance Review reinvention lab, we made a commitment to pass on to others what we have learned. We think we found the way in something that is fun, yet serious-cooking!
This is a cookbook written by practicing reinvention chefs as we strive to make substantial changes to our organization and our culture. At the Logistics Center, we have a partnership restaurant. Just as every ingredient is important to the recipe, every employee plays a role in reinvention. We are creating a learning organization. The food will not cook if the temperatures are not right, and the organization will not change if the conditions are not right.
We are getting there. Is it getting easier? Not necessarily. But the organization's confidence that it can handle different challenges and deal with the unknown is growing daily. The more mountains we climb and put behind us, the less fear of the next one. Our own experiences provide the basis for the recipes in this book.
This reinvention cookbook just scratches the surface with its recipes for successful change. We hope others will add their recipes-or recommend changes to these-so that next year, "A Taste of Reinvention" appeals to a broader range of tastes.
Enjoy, and bon appetit!!PARTNERS
April 13, 1998