David Dejewski

I think you’re asking a really good question that many of us are asking ourselves: What can we do to help?

I think there are many angles from which we can attack this problem, but I’ll focus my response on just one. There are things we can do internally. Internally, many of us have direct influence over things like the questions we ask of our leadership.

For example: Why is delivering service under budget in a year treated as a BAD thing? At the end of every fiscal year, I get a visit from the Comptroller asking me to “come up with some ideas to spend our money” because we don’t want to send our unused money back to the Treasury. Why not? What’s so bad about declaring a 4% reduction in cost this year and delivering on that promise? There is lots of fat we can trim. Isn’t cost savings a good thing for the economy?

Internally, we can challenge one another to cut the crap, focus our energy (and resources) on real customers, and stop hoarding knowledge and power. We can hold one another accountable.

These may seem like relatively small things when compared to the galactic hugeness of the national economy, but taken tens of thousands of times, they can make a huge difference. In the commercial real estate world, we say that for every one dollar taken from the expense column or every one dollar added to the income column equals $10 increase in property value. Little things do mean a lot!