Administratégia: What Can Public and Business Managers Learn from Each Other?
Organized by CEU Business School & Business School Alumni Association
Two extremes often guide our thinking about modernizing our public administration. On one hand, there are proponents of the “run-government-like-a-business” mantra—a wholesale, uncritical transfer of private-sector approaches to government. In our region, this trend has also often implied “running government like a Western business,” without much regard to local traditions and institutions. On the other hand, however, there are administrative traditionalists, who excuse any governmental inefficiency by the supposed uniqueness of public-sector agencies or by “local specificity.”
And yet, there is clearly an urgent need for a middle ground — for smart learning across sectors. After all, in Hungary and the broader Central European region, both businesses and governmental institutions face strikingly similar managerial challenges. On the business side, growth is in higher value-added goods and services, which require strategic integration of highly skilled knowledge workers and advanced information systems. Government likewise is no longer a passive implementer of policy ideas developed in the West — it must generate creative, original solutions for improving national economic competitiveness and the quality of key public services.
Administrategy — Central Europe’s first scholarly-informed practice book applying modern concepts of strategic management to the realities of the public sector — explores this smarter, pragmatic approach to cross-sectoral learning. The book, authored by CEU Associate Professor of Law and Public Management Maciej Kisilowski and Izabela Kisilowska of the global consultancy AT Kearney, shows how strategic management tools developed in successful knowledge-intensive organizations can help public managers leverage the unique advantages of our public sector institutions.
The panel discussion will take key ideas of Administrategy as a starting point. We will hear from distinguished practitioners of public and business management, and invite participants from the Budapest management community to share their perspectives. The goal is to take a concrete step forward in our understanding of how to move beyond the current focus on process efficiency and build Hungarian and Central European businesses and governments that function like true learning-, knowledge-intensive organizations.
18.05-18.10: Welcome remarks by Dean Julius Horvath
18.10-18.15: Welcome & introducing the speakers by Tamas Czegledi, Vice-President of the Business School Alumni Association
18.15-18.25: Introductory remarks by prof. Maciej Kisilowski
PART I: Strategic Similarities & Differences
18.25-18.28: Dr. Izabela Kisilowska: Brief introduction to PART I: “Administrategy” highlights the substantial similarities between public and private knowledge-intensive organisations, and how they are likely to change during our transition to knowledge-intensive economy. What is your general opinion about the extent to which those organisations can learn from each other? (3 minutes)
18.28-18.35: Reaction of Maciej Drozd, The World Bank
18.35-18.42: Reaction of Montserrat Feixas Vihe, UNHCR
18.42-18.49: Reaction of Peter Lakatos, Videoton
18.49-18.42: Quick ad hoc reactions from other panelists: Prof. Yusaf Akbar, Prof. Julius Horvath, Prof. Andras Nemeslaki
18.42-19.02: Discussion, moderated by Prof. Yusaf Akbar — participants are welcome to both make short statements or pose questions; includes one email question from participants watching on live stream
PART II: Focus on Talent
19.02-19.05: Dr. Izabela Kisilowska: Brief introduction to PART III: “Administrategy” argues for the new “agency theory” for the public sector, linking organisational and individual objectives. That requires modern techniques of talent management, which in the public sector is constrained by the limitations in monetary compensation. What is your experience in managing crucial talent for your organisation?
19.05-19.12: Reaction of Peter Lakatos
19.12-19.19: Reaction of Montserrat Feixas Vihe
19.19-19.26: Reaction of Maciej Drozd
19.26-19.30: Quick ad hoc reactions from other panelists: Prof. Yusaf Akbar, Prof. Julius Horvath, Prof. Andras Nemeslaki
19.30-19.50: Discussion, moderated by Prof. Yusaf Akbar — participants are welcome to both make short statements or pose questions; includes one email question from participants watching on live stream
PART III The Road Ahead
19.50-20.00: Prof. Andras Nemeslaki: Concluding the discussion with a question: What can we do in practice to promote cross-sectoral learning at the second stage of our transition, to make both our public and private organisations more effective?
20.00-20.15: Discussion, ideas from the room, moderated by Prof. Yusaf Akbar — participants are welcome to both make short statements or pose questions; includes one email question from participants watching on live stream (15 minutes)
20.15-20.20: Concluding reactions by Montserrat Feixas Vihe
20.20-20.25: Concluding reactions by Maciej Drozd
20.25-20.30: Concluding reactions by Peter Lakatos
Administrategy: Achieving personal success when managing in public administration
If you manage a public-sector organization — a school, a hospital, a cultural institution, a local- or central-governmental agency — congratulations! You have a unique opportunity to influence the world around you. Administrategy is a practical guide that will help you make the best of this opportunity.
Combining rigorous research in dozens of governmental agencies throughout Central and Eastern Europe with the presentation of world’s best practices, the book offers step-by-step suggestions on how to manage a successful governmental agency while advancing your own professional career.
Administrategy is also an invitation to rethink some entrenched paradigms of public administration. Creating a fantastic hospital, developing a country or a city, supporting an economy on its path to global competitiveness are challenges that require a good strategy and creative team of talented, energetic employees.
It is in every nation’s national interest to strategically align public institutions around clear goals and professional organizational culture, so that the work in public administration attracts the best and brightest.
About the authors
Izabela Kisilowska and Maciej Kisilowski combine a unique educational background at the world’s leading academic institutions with practical experience of work with public agencies and public managers in Poland and Central Europe.
Maciej is Associate Professor of Law and Public Management at Central European University in Budapest. He specializes in executive education of senior business and governmental managers. He leads the Initiative for Regulatory Innovation research center, which conducted a comprehensive study of managerial processes in governmental agencies throughout Eastern Europe. He holds a doctorate and master’s degrees from Yale Law School, an MPA in economics and public policy from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, as well as an MBA with distinction from Insead.
Izabela is a management consultant at AT Kearney. She has advised Polish and Eastern European companies and public-sector institutions for a number of years. She holds a PhD in Politics from University of Cambridge, where she studied on a full scholarship funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She also researched processes of political decision making, among others, at Department of Political Science at Yale University and at Freie Universitat in Berlin.
Privately, Izabela and Maciej are the happy parents of Adam and Alex.