Government leaders increasingly face complex problems that demand collaborative interagency solutions. Almost all of the major challenges confronting government today – from cyber security and food safety to veterans’ homelessness and global climate change – require leaders at all levels that can coordinate resources beyond their immediate control.
A new compilation of essays, Tackling Wicked Government Problems: A Practical Guide for Developing Enterprise Leaders (Brookings, 2013), details the experiences of high-level government leaders who lead across organizational boundaries to address ill-structured and complicated difficulties. The examples in the book offer strategies for how to use networks to respond to and develop solutions for the “wicked” problems that span agencies.
On August 14, Brookings Executive Education hosted a discussion on why enterprise leadership represents the essential framework for today’s government leaders. Panelists included co-editors of Tackling Wicked Government Problems Jackson Nickerson and Ron Sanders, as well as some of the contributors. Brookings Senior Fellow Elaine Kamarck, director of the Management and Leadership Initiative, moderated the event.