What should any organization achieve? This is the most important aspect of instructing the City Manager. The only achievement that justifies organizational existence is that which causes sufficient benefits for the right recipients to be worth the cost. What good is this organization to accomplish, for whom, at what cost or relative worth? Traditional approaches to governance have allowed Councils to sidestep this crucial determination. We have focused far more on what activities the organization will be engaged in, not the consumer results to be achieved.
Consequently, Councils give their City Managers credit for programs, services, and curricula rather than demanding data (even crude data are better than none) on whether the right recipients received the right results at the right cost. In order to lead, Councils must learn that services, programs and curricula have no value except as they produce the desired ends. Therefore, City Councils are well-advised to look past these operational means and on to the ends that really matter.