CHALLENGE At the end of the movie, The Candidate, the surprise winner of a US Senate race asks his campaign manager, “What do we do now?” Running for office is hard, but running that office, be it governor or mayor, is even harder; harnessing an unwieldy bureaucracy and earning voter trust cannot be done with good intentions alone.

SOLUTION Offer proven, pragmatic guidance—a menu of tools and services---to executives who want to govern with purpose and build an enduring legacy. Such tools will help every public executive organize a strong executive team, develop a bold vision, coherent agenda and realistic action plan, formulate clear metrics for tracking progress, mobilize stakeholders and win public trust.

SYSTEM By harnessing technology and system thinking, civic leaders can help their communities build a better future. They can use smart tools to shape their destinies.

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To clarify complex, stubborn civic issues, to assess proven ideas for improving their communities, to connect civic activists with promising initiatives and to track civic progress and exhort public officials.

MAKING IT WORK Every public executive (and even re-elected executives considering a reset) should plan and prepare for success. Governing is always challenging, but public executives rarely fail for being overly prepared. Leveraging smart tools and skilled local resources, a public executive can hit the ground running and significantly enhance the prospects of achieving his or her platform, and restoring public trust in government.

YOUR TURN Civic Way commends your decision to run for public executive, be it governor, mayor or county executive. While your initial focus should rightly be on winning that race, it is governing that requires the most preparation. To learn more, please visit the Civic Way website at


pathway for public executives


pathway for public executives
  • Conduct initial baseline analysis and identify opportunities and risks, e.g.:
    • Compile and assess performance data for current administration
    • Suggest viable government initiatives and reforms
  • Plan, organize and coordinate advisory teams
    • Leverage in-state and external resources (e.g., academic)
    • Organize and facilitate policy team meetings
    • Identify potential (untapped) supporters
  • Plan, organize and coordinate citizen committees
    • Recruit and assign committee members
    • Establish post-inauguration kitchen cabinet (ongoing counsel)
    • Design effective boards and commissions mechanism
  • Identify potential quick wins (e.g., service reforms, cost savings and revenue enhancements)
  • Produce bold, strategic vision for government
  • Build strong management team for new administration
    • Assess and identify skill needs (selection criteria by position)
    • Create vetting/screening process and committees
    • Organize and guide personnel selection/recruitment process
    • Design decision-making protocols (e.g., cabinet meetings)
    • Implement aggressive executive training program
  • Develop executive action plan for first 180 days
    • Prepare work plan for guiding and tracking performance
    • Prepare fiscal/resource reallocation plan with budget model
    • Implement automated decision calendar and scheduling system
    • Build initial administrative infrastructure n Create preliminary legislative agenda for first session
  • Conduct comprehensive executive assessment
    • Document key performance indicators and trends
    • Assess operations (enterprise and agency issues)
    • Summarize best practices and improvement opportunities
  • Develop enterprise-wide strategic blueprint for first term
    • Define initial state-wide metrics
    • Identify critical decisions (e.g., decision calendar)
    • Build mechanisms for ensuring innovative management
    • Identify initial entity-wide strategies (e.g., fiscal and technology)
  • Develop agency blueprints for first term
    • Agency performance priorities and metrics
    • Cabinet agenda and action plan (operating blueprint)
  • Create legislative program for first session
    • Identify and interview legislative leaders
    • Recruit and organize legislative team
    • Develop, vet and refine legislative policy program
    • Update legislative agenda and priorities (with model statutes)
  • Design and launch structured communications system
    • Design constituency service and communications program
    • Develop messaging portal, public website and mobile apps
    • Recruit and select media staff and make staff assignments
    • Build quick response capabilities