Over the past year, I’ve been encouraging public sector leaders to embrace bold thinking and innovative new ways to serve citizens. Conceptually, it’s easy to recognize the value; operationally, it takes courage and tenacity to bring it to life. One of the biggest obstacles is how most state and county governments are organized – with each agency maintaining people, processes and technology systems focused on a specific mission.

These siloes pose real challenges when working to deliver better outcomes. And our clients aren’t the only ones who have them. Accenture does, too.

This reality hit me a few months ago as our team in North America was working with Accenture’s industry leadership to develop a bold vision for serving payer, provider and public sector organizations. It’s been exciting to see how we have zeroed in on what matters most to each of the specific industry segments. In the case of public sector, we’re developing a local presence and focus that allows us to bring our best and brightest capabilities into each of the geographies where we have talent, offices and investments in the community.

We are focused on making those cities, counties and states better places to live. And we’re augmenting those local resources with industry capabilities and expertise that we can move around the country. This approach offers public sector clients the best of people who think about them and their state every day – combined with people looking across the country and the continent and thinking about what’s best for the industry overall.

This ability to go all the way from strategy to roadmap to front-lines implementation is one of Accenture’s greatest strengths. And yet, I realized we have been almost clinical in how we were organized. In fact, we were doing the thing I often advise my clients NOT to do: structuring our practices to mirror the vertical siloes that most states use – even though most of the important issues facing states require crossing the silos.

For our clients to resolve their most important issues, they must look not at specific processes or systems but at desired outcomes. And for Accenture to help, we must lean into those desired outcomes – not the client’s organization structure – as the principle for how to attack it.

Every day, we’re bringing this approach to life by leading with higher-level questions: What’s the fundamental challenge at hand? And, how can we approach that challenge with an outcome focus from Day One?

None of us can snap our fingers and eliminate siloes, but together we are already seeing beyond them to drive better, bolder outcomes.

Connect with me on Twitter and LinkedIn and stay tuned for upcoming blogs. In the meantime learn more here.


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Ryan Oakes

Senior Managing Director – Strategy & Consulting, Global Public Service

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