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Harvard ranks Voinovich School partner article in top 30

Austin Ambrose
May 3, 2017

Longtime Voinovich School partner Gregory Browning is co-author of a study recently ranked among the initial 30 selected by Harvard University for an online resource library of best practices in government operations.

Redesigning Ohio:  Transforming Government into a 21st Century Institution,” by Browning and co-author David Osborne, was among more than 200 reports submitted for inclusion in the Operational Excellence in Government initiative by the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government.

Browning is president of Capital Partners, a consulting firm based in Columbus that specializes in public policy and management strategy. He was director of the Ohio Office of Budget and Management from 1991 to 1998 under Governor George Voinovich.

Co-chair of the Voinovich School Strategic Partners Alliance, Browning also serves as an executive in residence. He was a member of the Ohio University Board of Trustees from 1999 to 2007. An esteemed alumnus, Browning received his bachelor’s degree from Ohio University, where he majored in history and philosophy.

Led by Professor Stephen Goldsmith, director of the Innovations in American Government Awards program, the Operational Excellence in Government project identifies top studies of local and state functions that have proven to be the most effective at saving money and improving efficiency, and that are the most likely to be easily replicated.

“There are studies done around the country in this field,” Browning said. “Many of the ideas and suggestions are beneficial to a broad array of stakeholders.”

In addition to publishing the full studies, the initiative isolated more than 2,000 distinct ideas from them and organized them by topic. “Redesigning Ohio,” for example, has suggestions listed under Revenue Enhancement and Finance, Workforce Management, Operations, Performance and Accountability, and Internal and Public Engagement.

Browning and Osborne prepared the report in 2010 for the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and the Ohio’s Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. At the time, Ohio was facing a budget deficit of up to $8 billion.

The report married Browning’s knowledge of Ohio government with Osborne’s ideas about government innovation. Drawing on Osborne’s experience in reforming public services — his five books on the topic include “Reinventing Government” — the report advised that the state implement “budgeting for outcomes,” which allocates funds based on priorities instead of by programs.

Despite its age, Browning said, “Redesigning Ohio” remains pertinent because it focuses on system redesign and setbacks.

“It’s not just about efficiency and effectiveness,” Browning said. “It’s about picking the right issues and asking the right questions to improve government productivity for citizens.”

 “The Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs is dedicated to working with front line public organizations to achieve operational excellence and value. Greg Browning’s accolade for “Redesigning Ohio” is well deserved and we value his ongoing partnership with the School,” Mark Weinberg, Founding Dean of the Voinovich School, said.