Working Papers

The preamble to giving the speech to the National Association of Colleges and Universities was publishing the Transformational Leaders Playbook.  The discussion is not  another discussion of new media and its transformational power. If it were, there would be little news here. What’s important about the discussion of the elements is teh way that they interact when the activist constituencies demand a seat at the table.

Democratizing Transformation is a speech that I gave to the general session of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities on February 4, 2015.  The speech concludes with a discussion of the elements of transformation and the new dynamics of an age of technology and transparency.  The need to build transformational leadership in the middle of the enterprise is a central conclusion.

The Chief Innovation Officer:  Adapting Postal Practice to the Changing Marketplace.

A paper delivered at the Center for Research into Regulated Industries, May 17, 2012 that argues that the Chief Innovation Officer proposal contained in the recent Senate bill should be broadened to make it successful.

A Leader’s Guide to Transformation:  Developing a Playbook for Successful Change Initiatives

This study commissioned by the IBM Center for the Business of Government includes insights from 10 transformational leaders from Departments and agencies across the government.  The concept behind the study was to provide a practitioner’s viewpoint on  how to assemble a playbook that can help in creating a successful game plan to make transformation successful.

The Transformational Leadership Process

There is value in beginning with a simple and clear conversation about leading change, often a process of thinking, doing and reflecting.  These concepts are at the core of the approach that Harvard Business School has developed to translate sophisticated analytics and global insight into decision and action.  At Transformation Strategy we have built this conceptual structure into the Transformational Leadership Process.

The Elements of Transformation, the Role of Strategy

The experience of creating Internet services to anticipate the impact of the Internet on one of America’s oldest institutions and the Mother Ship of hard copy “snailmail” offered an opportunity to gain insight into the Elements of Transformation and the need for Strategy to guide change along a secure pathway.  Today, as the cycles of new Transformations begin, there is value in using the Elements of Transformation to create new strategic paths for future leaders.   (More on the Elements of Transformation. PDF)

Turnaround Truths

Why did the Postal Service’s strategic transformation stall? While the specific answers are open to debate, some general insights emerged into how an organization – any organization – can keep a turnaround from faltering:

  • Don’t Miss Your Moment — Precious momentum is lost if you fail to capitalize on fleeting market opportunities when morale is high.
  • Connect change initiatives to your core business — Promising innovations can wither if there is no path to integration with mainstream operations.
  • Don’t mistake incremental improvements for strategic transformation — Operational success can blind you to the need to reinvent the business strategically.
  • Be realistic about your limits — Raising expectations that can’t be met, at least at the moment, can undermine changes that are achievable.
    Robert A. F. Reisner, When a Turnaround Stalls, Harvard Business Review, February 2002.

When A Turnaround Stalls (144k)

The Future of the Postal Service

Testimony November 5, 2009 before the House Committee on Government Reform, Subcommittee on the Postal Service on the future of the Postal Service.  In spite of the challenges that continue to face the Postal Service the testimony asserts that there are multiple examples of  new services that might be offered.  Future services will have to pass the test of increasing the relevance of the postal service to the future communications needs of customers.  To do this will increasingly require that postal service be interconnected with Internet Services.  Yet, while these services might have been “postal services” a decade ago, that was then, this is now.  Today these services should be public-private partnerships as encouraged by the postal reform law of 2006.

Postal Reform:  Next Steps (2011)

A paper presented to the Eastern Conference on Advanced Regulatory Economics sponsored by the Rutgers Center for the Study of Regulatory Economics (CRRI) in May 2001.  This paper written with Lawrence G. Buc followed up on an earlier (2007) paper discussing the postal reform bill.  This paper focuses on the core question of revenues and costs.  As important as the discussion of pensions may be to the timing of a potential bankruptcy, they only delay the ultimately need to confront the core question.

The Evolving Postal Enterprise

Since 2001 Robert Reisner has published a number of chapters in books edited by Professor Michael A. Crew of Rutgers and Paul R. Kleindorfer of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.  These have included

Robert A. F. Reisner, Benjamin, Maynard, Osborne, Derek, “Innovation in Postal Products and Pricing: Opportunities and Obstacles in the Reform Era” in Progress in the Competitive Agenda in the Postal and Delivery Sector”, edited by Michael A. Crew and Kleindorfer, Paul R., Edward Elgar, 2009.

Robert A. F. Reisner, “Postal Transformation: USPS Builds a Platform for Fundamental Future Change” in the Handbook of Worldwide Postal Reform, edited by Michael A. Crew, Kleindorfer, Paul R. and Campbell, James I. Jr., Edward Elgar, 2008.

Robert A. F. Reisner, Buc, Lawrence G. and Myers, James Pierce,  “The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act: Some Consequences” in Competition and Regulation in the Postal and Delivery Sector, edited by Michael A. Crew and Kleindorfer, Paul R., Edward Elgar, 2008.

William J. Dowling, Curry, Robert J., Reisner, Robert A. F. and Worth, Bill, “The Postal Technology Market and Effects on Purchasing Strategy”, Liberalization in the Postal and Delivery Sector,edited by Michael A. Crew and Kleindorfer, Paul R., Edward Elgar, 2006.

Other chapters by Robert Reisner on Homeland Security, Privatization and Strategic Planning are also available from the Center for Research in Regulated Industries of Rutgers, University.

Additional Papers include

Comments filed in the Universal Service Proceeding on behalf of the National Association of Letter Carriers before the Postal Regulatory Commission, 2008. Comments for NALC on the USO.

“The Postal Service is Worth More than Microsoft” published in the London Financial Times, 1999.  For paper from Financial Times.

“From Bush Pilots to Internet Entrepreneurs” speech on electronic services delivered to the Internet Expo, Boston, MA, 1996.

Eight Imperatives” for Using Networked Services in the Public Sector, a Publication of the Harvard Policy Group on Networked Services, Harvard Kennedy School of Government. 1998.