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Collaboration Nation: How Public-Private Ventures are Revolutionizing the Business of Government [Kindle Edition]

Mary Scott Nabers
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $19.95
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Book Description

An insider’s guide to the booming business of shrinking government, this ground-breaking look into the inner-workings of public entities and their private vendors, by consultant and former Texas state official Mary Scott Nabers, explains why the business of government—from how we pay for infrastructure to how we respond to natural disasters—will increasingly be driven by companies that see their public customers as partners, and are committed to building long-term trusting relationships built on shared goals while earning a competitive return on investment.

In balanced fashion, Nabers provides a detailed profile of the players, what they think, and why public officials and private executives often have so much trouble communicating effectively. The book is full of examples, insights, and guidance for both.

Not since World War II has there been as dramatic a shift in the way government does business as what’s happening in the wake of the Great Recession. Public agencies at every level are scrambling to find the resources required to deliver essential services. Hardly a day goes by that a government entity somewhere isn’t proposing privatizing some public obligation.

Nabers, an entrepreneur who spent a decade as a leading public executive in Texas, and who for more than fifteen years has been advising Fortune 100 companies, predicts trillions of dollars of public spending is eventually going to be outsourced, much of it in the form of joint ventures called public-private partnerships (P3s). From city parking garages to state pension fund management, public executives are rethinking how they deliver services, deciding which can be delivered more efficiently in collaboration with private enterprise, and which should be outsourced altogether. This mega-trend, driven by economic necessity, will lead to unprecedented opportunities for innovative companies to create solutions that will help reinvent government and reinvigorate our economy.

Whether you are in business, in government, or simply a curious citizen, you will be surprised by what you learn here about how government operates, what causes it to break down, and about the forward-looking business executives and conscientious public officials who are working together to create a more perfect and collaborative union.

“It is better for the public to procure at the market
whatever the market can supply; because there it is
by competition kept up in quality, and reduced to its
minimum price.” —Thomas Jefferson


Editorial Reviews

Review

A former Texas Railroad commissioner and current business consultant argues that government is undergoing a major transformation as it seeks ways to provide services profitably and effectively.

Nabers focuses on how to transfer resources from government to the private sector and outlines alternatives that are emerging in cases where government can no longer maintain its functions at or below cost. In her view, outsourcing has often been the best method. She writes that the vocabulary of government contracting is changing, as collaborative public-private partnerships (P3s), no longer based on considerations of price alone, but also best value, replace what was once called privatization. Nabers stresses that politics is the field where business and government come together, and that successful negotiations require all parties to improve their understanding of the others. Experienced on both sides of “this cultural divide,” the author outlines what needs to be done by both businesses and government agencies to move forward. Nabers provides short case studies of areas such as provision of parking, management of state liquor distribution, state parks, and facilities for higher education, among others, from states including New Jersey, Louisiana and Ohio, where P3s have been moving ahead. She believes that businesses will be well-advised to master the intricacies and detailed processes she indicates, and she provides checklists to help out. Nabers offers a valuable guide to defenders of privatization, but her approach won't convince those who support maintaining strong government function.

More a practical how-to manual, short and to the point, than a study of the merits and disadvantages of outsourcing government.

--Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Mary Scott Nabers served for a decade in senior executive roles in Texas state government before starting Strategic Partnerships, Inc., in 1994, a large, national consulting practice that helps Fortune 100 clients identify and win billion-dollar government contracts. After a long career as an entrepreneur-owner of media properties, she served eight years on the Texas Workforce Commission, representing the interests of 380,000 companies in dealings with government, followed by a two-year stint on the powerful Texas Railroad Commission under Governor Anne Richards. She is a frequent public speaker at conferences and forums on reforming the business of government.

Product Details

  • File Size: 578 KB
  • Print Length: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Platform Press (May 9, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0081VTHM2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #769,192 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book June 19, 2012
By jjh
Format:Hardcover
Timely and excellent book on public private partnerships by someone who has a wealth of experience in both the public and private sectors. It covers the topic well and offers important, practical advice to all who want to be successful in this arena. JH
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Mary Scott Nabers, an expert on how government does its business, explains why outsourcing and privatization are inevitable trends and why it makes perfect sense to return to our historical roots of allowing the private sector to invent solutions to public needs. Nabers, an entrepreneur who spent a decade as a public executive in Texas, explains what it's like to be a public official and why government should not be expected to be the innovator of solutions. And she provides an inside look at the relationship between government executives and private vendors and why those relationships are sometimes flawed and can cause unintended problems. This book is full of examples and should be read by every government executive and every private vendor. The popular notion that, as President Reagan said, government is the problem, not the solution, is debunked here. As a nation, we cannot afford to have the public and private sectors at war with each other. Instead, Nabers argues, we need a massive collaborative effort on the scale of what we had in World War II, when the private sector worked with government to solve enormous, crisis-sized issues. The most interesting datapoint in this book is that the US is way behind much of the rest of the world on this issue. Public-private partnerships have been around for a long time in Europe and elsewhere.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent PPP Resource June 11, 2012
By SheilaB
Format:Hardcover
Mary Scott Nabers has written an enlightening book on the evolving nature of public private partnerships. She is a leader in this field with her successful company focusing on assisting businesses in understanding and participating in government contracting. The book is a thoughtful resource.
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