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Building An Enduring Structure: Minnesota's Office of Enterprise Sustainability

 Building An Enduring Structure: Minnesota's Office of Enterprise Sustainability

In 2016, the Minnesota Department of Administration’s Office of Continuous Improvement led an initiative from the then-Lieutenant Governor to assess and improve how the state manages its internal sustainability reporting and efforts. After some initial fact-finding, the team discovered there were unconnected reporting requirements, a variety of approaches to sustainability activities, and no coordinated effort to understand outcomes or identify opportunities for improvements. In collaboration with the Department of Administration’s newly formed Office of Enterprise Sustainability, the Continuous Improvement team led a statewide project to build a streamlined and effective governance structure with state agencies to use.

Fast forward to today: how, where, and why agencies participate in statewide sustainability activities and governance is clearly documented and understood. Agencies know what they need to do, by when, and where they can get help. This governance structure and the Office of Enterprise Sustainability ensure that all agencies are participating, and:

  • there are enterprise-wide goals and metrics that were developed by the Results-based Accountability team
  • agencies are held accountable for their progress towards goals on a public-facing dashboard
  • there is reduced duplication of activities
  • the Office of Enterprise Sustainability serves as the hub for all efforts.  
Read the whole case study here

Key Learning Objectives:

  • The project team engaged and included impacted agencies and their employees in developing a governance and collaboration model across departments, how they mapped current efforts, and what benchmarking data was used from other states.
  • Demonstrate how the team managed initiative fatigue, led culture change components, and developed cross-agency relationships. 
  • The Governor’s Office, in partnership with the Department of Administration’s senior leadership team and Office of Enterprise Sustainability, managed the transition to a new, sustainable governance structure. Examine the legacy of this program during a gubernatorial transition.

Why A Case Study: 

The National Association of State Chief Administrators (NASCA), an association devoted to state chief administrators (CAOs) and their senior, released two new case studies in partnership with Leadership for a Networked World (LNW) at Harvard Kennedy School.

NASCA uses the Harvard case study method as an innovative educational tool during a two-day executive training for cabinet-level officials and private sector thought leaders responsible for the business functions of government. Participants shared best practices on Driving Good Government: leading sustainable innovation in government.