Strategic Problem-Solving in Government: A Conversation with Frank Nestore of Mathtech

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 01-18-24

In this episode of People Solve Problems, host Jamie Flinchbaugh invites a thought-provoking guest, Frank Nestore, Vice President at Mathtech’s public sector consulting practice. The episode delves into the intricate world of problem-solving within governmental agencies, a realm where Frank has extensive experience and deep insights.

Frank begins by outlining the unique challenges faced by government agencies in problem-solving, which differ significantly from those in the private sector. He emphasizes the need to prioritize problems in complex and often politically charged environments. Drawing on his rich experience, Frank shares strategies for identifying the most impactful problems, taking into account both their immediate effects and long-term implications. He stresses the importance of weighing the urgency of problems against available resources, a balancing act that he’s mastered over the years.

A significant portion of the conversation revolves around Frank’s approaches to tackling long-standing issues in government operations. He details his experiences transitioning agencies from manual, paper-based processes to more efficient, automated systems. This transition, while technically challenging, also involves managing change within large, often resistant organizations. Frank discusses the techniques he’s employed to facilitate this change, including stakeholder engagement, transparent communication, and phased implementation strategies.

Leadership and decision-making form another core theme of the discussion. Frank candidly shares the challenges he faces as a leader, particularly in making high-stakes decisions that can impact millions. He talks about the delicate balance between delegating tasks and maintaining personal involvement in critical projects. His insights into fostering effective team dynamics and encouraging collaborative problem-solving are particularly enlightening.

A highlight of the episode is Frank’s introduction of the OODA Loop—a decision-making framework originally developed for military strategies. He elucidates how this framework can be adapted to the context of public sector problem-solving, emphasizing the need for rapid and responsive decision-making in dynamic environments. Frank’s ability to apply such frameworks in practical, real-world scenarios is a testament to his expertise.

The conversation shifts to Frank’s philosophy on coaching and team leadership. He advocates for a leadership style that is adaptable, humble, and centered around building a non-hierarchical team environment. Frank believes in empowering team members, giving them ownership of problems, and fostering an atmosphere where ideas can be freely exchanged. This approach, he argues, not only leads to better solutions but also builds a stronger, more cohesive team.

Frank also touches upon the importance of continuous learning and development in his field. He shares his approach to staying abreast of new technologies, methodologies, and trends in public sector management. His commitment to lifelong learning is a key factor in his success and serves as an inspiration for listeners.

The episode concludes with Frank offering advice to young professionals aspiring to careers in public sector consulting. He emphasizes the importance of developing a broad skill set, including technical knowledge, communication skills, and an understanding of political dynamics. He encourages persistence, open-mindedness, and a commitment to public service as the cornerstones of a fulfilling career in this field.

Overall, this episode of People Solve Problems presents a comprehensive and insightful look into the world of problem-solving in the public sector, guided by Frank Nestore’s expert knowledge and experiences. His perspectives on strategic problem-solving, leadership, and adapting decision-making frameworks provide valuable lessons for anyone interested in public administration, management, or consulting.

For more insights and updates from Frank Nestore and Mathtech, you can visit Mathtech’s website.

Additionally, you can explore their YouTube channel for informative content.

Frank’s professional achievements and contributions can also be followed through his LinkedIn profile