If you count in quasi-independent agencies, like the University of Massachusetts and MassPORT, there are many thousands more.
Governor Romney spent the last two years of his term running for president — abandoning his responsibilities to us at home.
Has Governor Patrick's administration transformed this workforce, celebrating the best, motivating the middle, and jettisoning the worst? Has a culture of accountability been created? Will it be?
Governor Patrick's biggest strategic choice is where to spend his own time and energy. No one wants to see that time wasted. While many state employees doing a great job, a high-performance culture is created and maintained by leadership — Patrick needs to provide what, for at least 2 years, Romney failed to.
Governor Patrick will always need to negotiate with legislative leaders when it comes to policy. However, at the management level, Patrick has a free hand. The question is: will he remember to use it? There is a lot at stake — billions of dollars, the quality of our healthcare, our air, land, and water, public safety. And lots of opportunities for Patrick to find ways to innovate and improve, with the freedom to immediately implement them — and get good press in the process, while serving the public. Plus, if he moves quickly, opportunities to find old problems and blame them on the prior administration, before they become his.
If Patrick does choose to put some of his focus on management, there are plenty of places where he can find best practices to replicate, but here in the United States and around the world. But most importantly, Patrick will need to make his Secretaries feel accountable for the performance of their departments, not just the policies they develop or the press they get. Secondly, Patrick will need to encourage his Human Resources directors, both in his own office and in the Secretariats, to hire results-oriented managers.