Making State and Local Government Work (at HKS)

This course will focus on how making policy innovations and change can have the impact desired when implemented in a state or local government context. This course will include some non profit cases and international cases as well. Strategic thinking and strategic planning will be important themes. This course will include both cases and readings that address the analytical challenges and the tools that are necessary to produce a successful policy outcome.  The course will begin by reviewing the analytical techniques available to assess the specific challenges of a specific situation. The techniques will include 1) analyzing the organizational culture,2) preparing a correct diagnosis of the policy challenge, 3) identifying issues of race and 4) assessing the influence of the political environment. Next the course will review cases and articles that enumerate the management tools available. These tools include 1) setting goals, 2) organizational change,3) mobilizing the staff,4) improving the customer experience, 5) project management and 6) executive leadership.  Finally, the course will take the previously described analytical and management tools to address policy and service delivery challenges like diversity, new technology, increasing traffic, crisis management and global health.  The course is taught by a practitioner, Tom Glynn, who has run or overseen a major subway system, a major urban airport, a White House Task Force and the operations of a U.S. Cabinet Agency as Deputy Secretary. Glynn also has a Ph.D. from Brandeis University where he wrote his thesis on implementation. This course is offered jointly with HKS as MLD-112.

Friday, 9/3 will be held as a Monday schedule at HKS. Thomas GLynn's course HKS MLD-112/GSD SES 5410 will meet on Wednesday 9/1 AND Friday 9/3. The course will also have an information session. See schedule for details: