Denise Fleury and the Minnesota Office of State Claims
When Denise Fleury left the insurance industry to become head of the Minnesota Office of State Claims in June 1984, she knew the job would be challenging. Recent changes in state law aimed at lowering workers' compensation costs across Minnesota had changed and broadened the mission of the state claims office, which administered workers' compensation benefits for all state employees. But when she took the job, Fleury did not realize how badly state claims was handling its old responsibilities. She soon found herself scrambling to cope with day-to-day crises while trying to take on a host of new tasks. Through Fleury's eyes, students will see the dilemmas that confronted the young manager and how she tackled them during her first year. This part of the case is a good introduction to how a manager creates organizational capacity in this situation, primarily through a human resource strategy.
Students will also see that at the end of her first year despite significant progress, internal office procedures remained frustrating and confusing. The case ends here; giving students the chance to discuss what Fleury should do next. Students are told of two resources Fleury can try to tap: one is a new, open-ended statewide program called "STEP" (Strive Toward Excellence in Performance), designed to spur innovations in mid-level state management. The other is a new computer software product called "Process Flow Analysis," designed to identify inefficiencies in day-to-day office operations through a series of elaborate computerized flow chart exercises. Students can consider how she might use these resources strategically in State Claims.
This case is provided to Electronic Hallway members through a cooperative arrangement with the Kennedy School of Government Case Program.