Big Picture Government

Big Picture Government

What problem does it solve? Individual programs within Departments are so focused on their individual missions they fail to carry out the overall Mission of the Departments. Likewise, individual Departments are so focused on their own agendas that they fail to carry out the Mission of the State. Big Picture Government allows for better service to our constituents by opening up communication internally and shifting focus away from process and towards outcomes. What is your solution and who does it apply to? Create a culture where accounting for "Totality of Circumstance" isn't considered mission creep or a waste of time. We need to move beyond, "My rules don't allow that", or I'm just doing my job" mentality and nurture the many workers who are capable of more creative thinking. I worked 2.5 years in Sandy Recovery. It was the most difficult, yet most satisfying part of my 28 year career in state government. It was amazing what was possible during that time. Departments boiled their rules down to their essence. We created a decision triangle of 3 key criteria: science, logic and common sense (some thought "law" should be in there, but honestly, if the law doesn't follow the first 3 it probably isn't a good law,) We need to embrace ideas like this and the State Police training in "Totality of Circumstance". Every single trooper through the academy is empowered to look at the whole situation right there on the side of the road, then apply the law. What if we all did that? What is the anticipated impact? Training in Totality of Circumstance and encouraging all Departments to think about how their role overlaps or intersects with other programs or Departments could have far reaching results for the communities we serve and also for our economy. What opportunities do we miss when DEP funds a road opening for storm water upgrades? Maybe DOT could have coordinated on a complete streets project; maybe BPU could have used the same trench for electrons; maybe we could have paved the road once. This only starts when we change the way we think, when we change the culture to allow for big thoughts. As Phase 1 of this proposal, I believe all Departments should be trained in Totality of Circumstance by NJSP. After that we move to Phase 2 where a group located at each Department owns the coordination in a place based format. Listen to the community, understand our sister agencies needs and capabilities then connect all the dots for truly vibrant outcomes.


This is using great common sense, I hope they listen.

This is such a great and important idea! My coworkers and I often complain about the lack of communication between departments. It is frustrating for us as workers and more frustrating for those in the public that have to deal with each of our separate entities. Working together, with greater communication should make for an overall, healthier and far more effective governmental body.

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