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Transforming government will only happen when enlightenment happens – when we abandon the limiting beliefs that keep us trying the same worn out solutions. As they say in 12 step programs "your best thinking got you here." The "best thinking" for transforming government – privatization, reorganization, consolidation, accountability and incentive schemes – has got us in the mess we are in. New thinking will get us out. More
Government faces a capacity problem. Not a capability problem. We have good people who know what to do, we just don't have the capacity to keep up with the demands placed upon us. Plumbing is a good metaphor for the processes of government. Behind the walls and under the floors of government agencies are a complex system of pipes that customers must navigate. These pipes are rarely short and straight. Rather, over time they have become kinked up, twisted, gummed up messes. Resource shortages and growing demand puts extraordinary pressure on the pipes; pressure felt by workers, executives, elected officials and taxpayers. And in the extreme cases, pipes burst with catastrophic consequences.

C!A is a team of extraordinary plumbers. We understand where the pipes are, where the kinks are and how they got that way. We specialize in flow, working with your people to create short, straight pipes that increase your agency's capacity to do more good. More
We are not defective
We are not different
It is not a people problem
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C!A has had the honor of transforming some of the nation's most challenging human services programs. Working side by side with dedicated social workers, we have found ways to deliver access to food, health care, and social safety nets 70% faster, increasing capacity by over 40% with no new investments in staffing and no big investments in technology. We have seen similar gains in the vital areas of Child Welfare, Child Support and Medicaid.
These transformations are driven by our core values:
The work of government is noble
The people of government are amazing
The systems of government are a mess
Deluged by an influx of new clients, and saddled with processes stifled by twenty years of CYA steps and failed IT projects - social workers have been doing their best to keep their heads above water. Misguided attempts to privatize their work or "hold them accountable" have only further contributed to the crises. Rather than blaming workers - we empower them to transform their broken systems and regain the capacity to deliver compassion.
Improve Process
Increase Caseworker
Enhance System
Supervisor Support
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Across the United States, we’re helping human service organizations advance compassion and enhance their impact.

Select a state to learn more about the successes C!A has helped them achieve.

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PathOS: Cloud-Based Process Management Software
The perfect companion to our Proccess Management strategy, Pathos lets you monitor and manage your workflow, helping you to transform chaotic case management system into accountability, clarity, and transparency—that you can predict and control.

Our proprietary software, Pathos uses real-time data and our adaptive algorithm to learn the rhythms of your office, helping you anticipate issues, overtake them, and meet the needs of your clients, quickly, efficiently, and strategically. And all without any additional equipment or staff.
Compare And Enhance Performance
We rarely believe technology is the solution to operational problems, but data is. Real time data. Predictive data. Data that can be used to make decisions right now about the next minute.

Pathos tracks each client and caseworker through every step of the process, and then aggregates that data into reports that let you:
"We have the ability to know on a daily basis—in real time, even—what our work flow looks like, where our staff needs to be fortified, where our resources are best placed. That clarity is empowering. We don’t work in silos anymore."
Monitor, measure, and manage wait time, workflow, and other thresholds in real time
Reallocate staff and resources, locally and systemwide
Compare and enhance performance
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We have over 300 years of combined public service experience. Our award-winning change agents can fundamentally change your culture by changing minds and fixing systems. Our people are accomplished consultants and gifted speakers with an intense focus on relationships and results. Our team led by Ken Miller and Blake Shaw has big ideas that we use to solve your issues.














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We love to hear from our clients – past, present and future. If you have a question, feedback, a success story you’d like to share or would like to discuss the challenges your organization is facing, please contact us.
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Ken Miller's most requested articles:
The following articles are written by Blake Shaw, a senior partner at the Change & Innovation Agency.
The following articles are from our Public Great Blog on
Check back frequently to see the latest.
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Hosted by Ken Miller and Bill Bott, is an online community for change agents dedicated to helping government increase it’s capacity to do more good.

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Transforming government will only happen when enlightenment happens – when we abandon the limiting beliefs that keep us trying the same worn out solutions. As they say in 12 step programs “your best thinking got you here.” The “best thinking” for transforming government – privatization, reorganization, consolidation, accountability and incentive schemes – has got us in the mess we are in. New thinking will get us out.

We are not defective.

There is nothing inherently wrong or dysfunctional about the public sector. We are not genetically predisposed to be slow, expensive and hard to deal with. Rather, we suffer from an incurable affliction – lack of competition. Any organization, public or private, with hostage customers struggles to improve. Monopolies act like monopolies. There simply is not the day-to-day incentive to get better that competition provides. So what can we do? Act as if. If we had competitors, what weaknesses would they exploit? What changes would we have to make if our “competitors” were beating us? Go do them. The surrogate for competition is high expectations. Related article: Free the Hostages

We are not different.

Sure government is unique. From politics to regulation to conflicting citizen agendas – we have our hands full. And the political and policy making realms are a whole different world. But the operations of government – and the issues plaguing the operations, are no different than those faced in manufacturing, health care, education or the service sector. All organizations are collections of systems – (processes that produce “widgets” for “customers” in order to achieve results.) These systems are easy to see in manufacturing – where the factory, widget, customers and bottom line are all tangible. They are harder to see in government where we often produce invisible things for people who don’t want them for reasons we can hardly articulate much less measure. The We Don’t Make Widgets book and workshops are all about changing this mindset and making systems visible. Related book: We Don’t Make Widgets

It is not a people problem.

We have hard working people – trapped in dysfunctional systems. To use a different metaphor, the pipes of government – the systems we use to deliver water to our customers are a kinked up, twisted mess. Ravaged by years of CYA, budget cuts, reorganizations, and half-finished technology projects, the systems of government simply don’t have the capacity to keep up. We can’t get the water to those who need it. Consequently, the pipes are leaking, water-pressure is building and there are pools of customers waiting to be served. To paraphrase Peter Scholtes, “all of the empowered, motivated, teamed-up, incentivized and accountable people you can muster cannot compensate for a dysfunctional system.” We have to improve the capacity of our systems before we focus on the capability of our people. Related article: Broken Record
To improve government, we have to improve the systems of government: to continually analyze and transform what we do, how we do it, who we do it for and why. Our systems – our pipes – is where all the action is. Our results come from our systems. Our customers show up in our systems. Our employees work in our systems. Our costs are in our systems. And our systems are a mess. Related article: Doing More With Less? It’s a Pipe Dream

How to Change Beliefs:

1. Read the books/articles and pass them on
2. Lead your team or work unit through the exercises in the books
3. Attend a live event
4. Bring C!A in-house

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We have radically improved systems in every part of government, from tax refunds to child abuse hotlines; environmental permits to health care access; DMV offices to Governor's offices. C!A clients continue to find ways to double capacity while reducing flow time by 70-80%, all without increased costs or compromising quality.


Case Study, Arizona:
Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) Division of Benefits and Medical Eligibility (DBME)
The principal challenge facing Arizona, like many other states and local governments across the nation, is one of capacity—having to withstand an unprecedented increase in demand for services with less staff and diminishing resources. Human service providers have... More

Case Study, Hawaii:
Hawaii Department of Human Services Benefit, Employment and Support Services Division
During 2009-2011, Hawaii’s caseload increases ranged from 15 to 115% depending on program. During this time, their staffing level was reduced by 50% due to budget cuts. Consequently, the State was facing sanctions from USDA, Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) and... More

Case Study, Fairfax County - Virginia:
Fairfax County Virginia, Department of Family Services (DFS)
Fairfax County realized that the current business model for determining eligibility and managing public assistance caseloads was not designed to handle the pressures presented by double digit increases in workload and staffing reductions.... More

Case Study, Washington:
Washington State Department of Social & Health Services Economic Services Administration, Community Services Division
In the summer of 2008, Washington State knew they would soon be facing the impacts of the failing economy. Knowing caseloads would increase and budgets reduced, their leadership decided to conduct a review of their SNAP service delivery model to identify ways they could streamline services.... More


You could take our word for it—or you could take the word of those who have worked with us. Frankly, we hope you do both.

"I’ve seen a lot of initiatives and a lot of promises of process improvement come into human service organizations over the past 30 years, so when I first heard of the Change and Innovation Agency, I thought, ‘Here we go again.’ So I approached their process management solution differently. I gave them our hardest, largest, most dysfunctional offices. I set up stringent performance measures. If this was going to work, it had to work in the toughest sites. I thought I set them up to fail. They proved me wrong. In a big way."

Leona Hodges Divisions of Benefits and Medical Eligibility
Arizona Department of Economic Security

"When we met C!A, we were in a tailspin. Our caseloads increased by 35 percent, we had a massive reduction in our workforce, we were under a hiring freeze, our timeliness rates were atrocious—in some offices they were down to 28 percent. We had no resources to meet the increased demand. They came in, calm and peaceful, and gave us control over that chaos. And that office with the abysmal timeliness rates, it’s operating at 98.2 percent."

Pankaj Bhanot Benefit, Employment and Support Services Division
State of Hawaii Department of Human Services

"It all comes down to timeliness—how quickly you can deliver services to those who need them. That’s what our families care about, that’s what our legislators care about. With the transition to process management, we’ve turned our cycle time around. Applications that used to take 22 or 23 days to process, now take an average of 5."

Ronald Kreher Director Department of Health and Social Services
State of Alaska Division of Public Assistance

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