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Collaboration Nation: How Public-Private Ventures are Revolutionizing the Business of Government Hardcover – June 1, 2012


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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.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 187 pages
  • Publisher: Platform Press (June 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982946163
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982946169
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,130,490 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By F. Winans on May 23, 2012
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By SheilaB on June 11, 2012
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By jjh on June 19, 2012
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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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Aaron G. on June 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
In this timely and insightful work, author Mary Scott Nabers demystifies the recent paradigm shift in the US regarding the relationship between government and business. The Great Recession, hyper-partisanship and an ever-expanding national debt have necessitated a political climate in which creativity, ingenuity and yes, collaboration with the private sector are required to deliver the goods and services the public demands. In a refreshing departure from related books in the field, the author draws heavily on her experience as a practitioner in both the public and private sectors. Moreover, instead of focusing descriptively on the events leading to the current environment, Mary Scott Nabers unveils proven best practices, engaging case studies and instructive anecdotes - culminating in the essential blueprint for anyone interested in how public and private entities interact.

As a graduate student in public policy, Collaboration Nation should be a required read for all of my colleagues due to its practical yet multi-dimensional approach to topics that include transparent communications, contract procurement and collaborative strategies. The book is also highly accessible and well-organized, providing value whether you are a 30 year civil service veteran or a freshman political science major. Finally, one of the great achievements of the book is to look beyond the false choice of small vs. big government- highlighting an alternative path that encourages each sector to specialize in what it does best.
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