Prompt: In his middle thirties, Antoine had been working for the city for almost
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In his middle thirties, Antoine had been working for the city for almost ten years, moving through various management positions since starting as a management intern during his MPA program. He knew he had the respect of many of the leaders in the city government but was thinking about whether he wanted to make a change after the last mayoral election.
Unexpectedly, the new mayor offered Antoine an intriguing challenge — take over and turn around an office that had been legendarily problematic — the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Partnerships and Initiatives. This office, designed to apply innovative solutions to some of the more complicated and challenging problems facing the city, had instead ended up an underfunded and understaffed office. In addition to being undersupported, some of the staff in this office had been dumped there from other departments, either because managers did not want to go through the procedural hassle of trying to fire them, or because the employees were poor performers but had political connections.
Antoine knew that he could turn around this office and make it a success, it would be a tremendous boost to his career. However, he also knew he couldn’t just announce, “There a new sheriff in town” and clean house in the city government. Was it worth the risk? Could Antoine as a manager do enough to fix this office?
Considering both the mission of this office and the constraints, what advice would you give Antoine? What should Antoine’s request be regarding how his success will be assessed?
What resources, authority, and support could Antoine realistically ask for to support his change?