On being and doing in Government

Adrian Brown
Centre for Public Impact
5 min readOct 17, 2019

“Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist.” — John Maynard Keynes

Much of the debate around government and public service reform is about what government should (or should not) do. For example how services should be structured, how performance should be tracked or how decisions should be made.

We spend much less time reflecting on how government should be, by which I mean the underlying principles, values and beliefs upon which action is based.