From Public Good to Public Great – Featuring Ken Miller, Author of "We Don't Make Widgets"

Seattle, Washington
Thursday, May 21, 2015
From Public Good to Public Great – Featuring Ken Miller, Author of "We Don't Make Widgets"
Thursday, May 21, 2015 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM (Pacific Time)

UW Husky Union Building (HUB), North Ballroom
(206) 543-8191
4001 Stevens Way NE
Seattle, Washington 98195
United States

Map and Directions

  Join the performance consortium conversation!

See the Agenda + Information tab for more details.

The Government Performance Consortium is an initiative hosted by MRSC to engage forward-thinking government leaders in a collaborative exploration of the next horizon of modern government.

Join us in Seattle on May 21st for a forum featuring:
  • A keynote presentation by Ken Miller, author of Extreme Government Makeover and We Don’t Make Widgets and his Public Great co-presenter, Bill Bott.
  • A panel of leaders who have been at the forefront of transforming local government in Washington State:
    • John Dickson, Chief Operating Officer, Spokane County
    • Gwen Voelpel, Assistant City Manager, City of SeaTac
    • Michael Jacobson, Deputy Director of Performance and Strategy, King County
  • An opportunity to collaborate with a network of innovative colleagues and build a blueprint for next steps in your own agency.

This event is hosted by MRSC and the Evans School of Public Affairs and sponsored by the State Auditor’s Office’s Local Government Performance Center.

Keynote Speakers

Ken Miller. Ken was the Deputy Director of the Missouri Department of Revenue, where he was part of a transformation effort that reduced the time to issue tax refunds by 80% (fastest in the nation) at less cost and cut wait times in motor vehicle offices by half. Ken speaks to thousands of government managers every year spreading his simple but often-ignored message: The only thing standing in the way of the government we want is right between our ears. Our beliefs create our systems. Our systems produce our results. If we want better results in government we need better systems. If we want better systems, we need better beliefs. Ken is the author of Extreme Government Makeover: Increasing Our Capacity to Do More Good and We Don’t Make Widgets: Overcoming the Myths That Keep Government From Radically Improving.

Bill Bott. Bill started his career in public service volunteering at an Air Force Youth Center, but quickly found himself submersed in the world of government improvement initiatives. A survivor of TQM, Zero Defects, and Six Sigma, Bill has dedicated his professional life to helping make elements of these square pegs fit into the round holes that make up the work we do. In 1999, he left the federal government and went to work for the State of Missouri and in his time there worked with some amazing people who saved the state over half a billion dollars in real costs in less than 10 years. Best known for his work consolidating the IT functions and staff in the state, he was recognized as a GOVERNING Public Official of the Year in 2007, and one of Government Technology’s 2008 Doers, Dreamers, and Drivers.

Panel of Local Government Performance Leaders

John Dickson. John is the Chief Operating Officer for Spokane County a role that he began in March 2013. He is leading significant operational improvement activities across Spokane County government to make it more ‘Lean’, efficient and customer-focused. Over 200 county leaders and elected officials have already completed his 4-week Lean Leadership Course and significant cost savings/avoidances are being realized across the county. 

Gwen Voelpel. Gwen is the Assistant City Manager for the City of SeaTac. One of her responsibilities is to spearhead the city’s first comprehensive strategic planning, performance management and process improvement efforts based on Lean Six Sigma principles. SeaTac’s “Align and Improve” effort began in 2013 and has resulted in improved staff alignment with an overarching set of values and goals, a more data-driven process for decision making based on dashboards, and revised processes to better serve both internal and external customers. 

Michael Jacobson. An award-winning national leader on government performance management, Michael currently serves as the Deputy Director for Performance and Strategy in King County’s Office of Performance, Strategy and Budget. During his tenure, Michael has been responsible for establishing key elements of the county’s performance management system including King County’s first countywide strategic plan, public performance reporting, and executive performance review sessions.

Contact Information

  • Donita Knutson
    (206) 625-1300

Payment Instructions

  • Make check payable to MRSC. Payment is due by Tuesday, May 19.

    MRSC/Government Performance Consortium Training Forum
    2601 Fourth Avenue, Suite 800
    Seattle, WA 98121