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5 Ways Trump or Clinton Could Make Government Run More Like a Business

November 10, 2016 • Commentary, Editors' Pick, Global Business, LEADERSHIP, SPECIAL FEATURES, STRATEGY & MANAGEMENT

By Howard Schweitzer

Applying business concepts to government is not a fantasy. With the right leader, a heavy dose of patience and good ideas, government can become more efficient delivering more value at decreased burden to taxpayers.

 

Throughout the presidential campaign, much has been said about Donald Trump’s extensive business experience – mostly by Trump himself. The GOP nominee has taken full advantage of American voters’ longstanding flirtation with the take-charge CEO from corporate America – Lee Iacocca, Ross Perot, Michael Bloomberg – turned Washington fix-it guru.

Yet more than a year into his campaign, Trump has yet to articulate a single concrete idea for reforming Washington. While his ability to draw eyeballs to TV screens, Twitter feeds and skyscrapers is indisputable, if he wins in November the public is going to expect much more than slapping a Trump sign on the State Department and decorating the entrance to the White House in gold leaf.

Applying business concepts to government is not a fantasy. With the right leader, a heavy dose of patience and good ideas, government can become more efficient delivering more value at decreased burden to taxpayers. Someone should bring a much needed corporate savvy to the $4 trillion operation that is the United States government, but if Donald Trump really wanted to do that he would be talking about solutions to actual Washington problems instead of focusing on building “beautiful” walls or throwing temper tantrums on Twitter about his own party.

The president should create the position of COO and fill it with a seasoned business executive, ideally with some Washington expertise, whose job is to cut through years of accumulated red tape and institute inefficiencies across all government departments and agencies.

Trump’s core campaign theme is: “I’ve been personally successful and made a lot of money, so you should trust me to do the same thing for the country.” With less than 30 days to Election Day, it’s past time for Trump to put some meat on the bones of his campaign premise.

What could an effective business leader bring to the federal government? Quite a lot, actually. Here are just a few ideas Trump could be talking about if he was serious about translating success in business into better government:



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