O'Malley's Maryland Goals

O'Malley's Maryland Goals

I love the fact that Governor O’Malley has set bold goals for the remainder of this and a hoped-for future term.  I’m a big believer that “what gets measured gets done”, and publicizing the goals puts the pressure on his administration to deliver.   

As reported by the Washington Post this morning, O’Malley has set 15 major goals:

 

Security:
  • Reduce violent crime in Maryland by 10% a year
  • Reduce violent crime against women and children by 25% by 2012
  • Make Maryland the leader in homeland security preparation by 2012
Skills:
  • Create or save 250,000 growth-sector jobs in Maryland by 2012
  • Improve student achievement and skill levels in Maryland by 25% by 2012
  • Improve marketable skills of Maryland’s workforce by 20% by 2012
Sustainability:
  • Accelerate Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts, reaching “Healthy Bay Tipping Point” by 2020
  • Increase transit ridership in Maryland by 10% annually
  • Reduce per capital electricity consumption in Maryland by 15% by 2015
  • Increase Maryland’s renewable energy portfolio by 20% by 2022
  • Reduce Maryland’s greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2020
Health:
  • End childhood hunger in Maryland by 2015
  • Establish a first-in-the-nation comprehensive statewide private-public secure health information exchange and electronic health records by 2012
  • Reduce infant mortality in Maryland by 10% in 2012
  • Expand access to substance abuse treatment in Maryland by 25% by 2012

As laudable as each of these goals are, I believe these goals aren’t as effective as they could be for two reasons.   

First, there are simply too many goals.  People and organizations do best focusing on two or three major goals at once, not fifteen.  As I’ve worked with management team members to develop quarterly and annual objectives, I’ve noticed that the more inexperienced tend to create a laundry list of smaller objectives.  To really drive change, these need to be condensed into a few compelling, measurable goals.

The second problem with five of these goals is their timeframe.  Rather than setting a goal that comes due after Gov. O’Malley leaves office, it would be more effective to set specific goals that his administration clearly meets or misses during his term in office. 

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