Four P’s

Four P’s (People, Process, Priorities, Projects)

All ASPS modules are based on helping you be a master facilitator of delivering the Four P’s while integrating our core public service philosophy & values. We hope to instill these qualities in your attitude so you can be a catalyst for advancing our profession to the next level, starting with your agency.



All bureaucracies are built on a foundation of their people. To help yours, consider these:
1. Be transformational & not transactional.
2. Be essential & not just appreciated.
3. Seek feedback at all costs.

  1. Never bring your ego to work.
    5. Listen to your stockholders & talk with your stakeholders.
  2. Vest others in your initiatives & invest in theirs.
  3. Don’t react to an action until you understand it's motivation.
  4. Be obsessed with horizontal communication & paranoid of silos.
    9. Be a catalyst for compassion in bureaucracies that lack compassion.
    10. If you can't put "to improve customer service" at the end of your action, then don't do it.
  5. If you care about an issue or make a mistake: own it.
  6. If you see a problem or an opportunity, learn it so you can own it.
  7. And if you are indifferent to all of it, then get out of public service. It's not for you.



All bureaucracies need a good process to achieve their missions but be weary of these process pitfalls:




All public policy debates come down to the four P’s of Public Service but none more passionately debated than priorities. In setting yours, know these:




Every three star city wants a five star hotel and that's why many civic projects fail. After building our good people, fixing your efficient processes and setting your priorities, it all comes down to the projects you can deliver to your communities, once you consider these:

1. Not enough outreach
2. Costs too much
3. Requires a vote
4. Requires land/things you don't have
5. Legality is questionable
6. Too self-serving
7. Doesn't help enough people
8. Ahead of its time
9. Behind its time
10. No political champion
11. Can't do it in your term
12. Media hates you
13. Gad-flies hate it
14. Don't have a clear way to implement it
15. Trying to one up the Mayor next door
16. Unions but everyone else hates it
17. Competes with other civic priorities
18. Don't have a good front man
19. Believe your own hype
20. You already have one of those

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