Off the cuff Episode 3: Should the Government be run like a business?

Ryan: Great question!  This is a question I get frequently. 

  • The short answer is No. The government shouldn’t be run like a business, but let me explain a few things to help make my position more clear.
  • There are a lot of smart people that disagree with me. They would say that the President is like the CEO and citizens are shareholders and customers
  • Profit is one of the primary goals of a business. Government isn’t profit-minded; it’s service and social value-minded.  We don’t want the government being concerned about net profits. Government and business seek different goals. The government shouldn’t run our economy either and that just might be a conversation topic for later.

So, the answer is simply, “No”. I don’t think government and business should be considered the same thing or run the same way.

There are, however, a lot of principles from business that should be applied to the government.  

Here are a few:

1. Stewardship. The careful and meticulous management of resources. Inefficiency and a lack of responsibility leads to this vicious cycle of low productivity and dissatisfaction. 

2. Service. In my business, if I don’t value my customers and provide them with value I won’t have a business very long. Providing good quality service is key to running any successful business. 

3. Accountability. In business we are accountable to our co-workers, our employees, our customers and our community. Unfortunately, many people in government don’t behave in a way that demonstrates their accountability to the citizens they serve.

4. Collaboration. Small business leaders have to be experts in collaboration. I believe that local governments should excel in this skill as well.  We desperately need all the brilliant people and organizations in our community to collaborate better on our biggest issues.  

My hope is that people will see my business experience and the way in which I have operated our companies as a positive influence for my candidacy. 

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