Panel discussion: How to Run a Government

Monday, 11 May, 2015 - 16:00 to 17:30
T.S. Eliot Lecture Theatre, Merton College

In conjunction with Blackwell’s Oxford, Blavatnik School of Government is hosting a panel discussion with Sir Michael Barber, Professor Christopher Hood and Professor Gwyn Bevan. They will be discussing Sir Michael’s recent book How to Run a Government.

how to run a government

There will also be an opportunity to purchase a signed copy of the book following the discussion.

This event is open to the public. 

About the book

How to Run a Government: So That Citizens Benefit and Taxpayers Don’t Go Crazy

Why do we need a book on how to run a government? Can we understand where the seam of poor decision making in government lies? How can we prevent decisions that waste public money, government time, and citizens’ jobs? And, crucially, how do we implement decisions that improve the lives of everyone living under a government?

Citizens around the world are frustrated with the failure of their governments and politicians to deliver on the promises they make. In an age of growing transparency, government incompetence increasingly breeds cynicism and distrust. Michael Barber sees this undermining not only the quality of our governance but the political process itself, combining to present a real threat to democracy.

How can this dangerous spiral be reversed? In How to Run a Government, Barber draws on his experience of working with government leaders worldwide to develop a blueprint for successful governance -­ a new science of delivery.

Using contemporary examples from every continent except Antarctica, he shows that the solution is less about ideology and more about planning, prioritisation and solving problems as they arise, and not giving up when the going gets tough.

Mapping out seven habits that governments can adopt and a collection of rules that can be applied to any aim, promise or goal, Barber presents practical solutions that translate policy into results and enable governments of any political persuasion to dramatically enhance their ability to deliver results, delighting their citizens rather than driving them crazy.

Sir Michael Barber is the co-­founder of Delivery Associates and Chief Education Advisor at Pearson. Over the last two decades he has worked on government and public service reform in more than 50 countries. From 2001 to 2005 he was the first Head of the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit in the UK. His previous books include Instruction to Deliver: Fighting to Transform Britain's Public Services.