Friday, April 14, 2017

Art of the Deal?

President Trump describes himself as a deal maker. And the President often has to be one in order to accomplish his/her agenda from the White House through the Congress. Similarly new business leaders have to bring to bear their previous success into their new jobs. I've been an operational transformation expert and bring cross-functional teams into alignment and collaboration in order to implement world-class practices. Those efforts have often exceeded objectives for customer experience. So let's compare the electorate satisfaction on how well this deal-maker is doing.
*Took office after predecessor’s death, so we’re counting the first 100 days of their full elected terms — 1949 for Truman and 1965 for Johnson. Gerald Ford is omitted from the list.

So far this current Congress has passed 22 laws that the President has signed, which gets it to the level of the Congress during Clinton's and Carter's first terms. Few of them related to his major pledges. His major success of getting a Supreme Court justice to fill the empty spot was accomplished when Congress changed their legislative rule to avoid a filibuster--hardly deal-making. Chief oversight in deal-making is the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act. Most of the President's actions have been accomplished by executive orders or military action which doesn't require any deal-making. He had an opportunity to fulfill his 100 day pledges to hammer China hard on trade policies and ended up with a 100-day negotiation, which isn't accomplishing any action he pledged to get done before the end of April.
A lot of Congressional bills in this first 100 days are repealing previous legislative actions (12 of the 22) and some others are recognitions and rule changes (4 of the 22). And to be fair, this Congress is not in the midst of a recession as was Obama and George W. Bush; there is perhaps less urgency to create progress...except that's what the Republican members and the President campaigned on.
2017: 27% perhaps?? substantive legislative action
2009: 63% substantive legislative action
2001: 75% substantive legislative action
We can be sure that Trump is continuing the Republican trend of bypassing Congress by issuing more Executive Orders than Obama's average of 0.09/day. Trump's average to date is 0.28 in keeping with the overall Republican average but much higher than three previous Republican predecessors. Maybe the rate will slow down, but so far, even with aligned Congressional chambers, it appears he's by-passing them also rather than working with them (i.e. making deals).

If I came into a business as an operational guru but spent all my time with marketing efforts in the first 100 days, I'd probably be less successful than I've been in the past. This would be especially indicative if there's no crisis in marketing to deal with, but there was an operational crisis (hence my introduction into the organization). The President and Congress campaigned on the promise of working together to get the 'crises' dealt with, and so far the evidence is lacking that they're getting it done.

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