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Remarks in a Conference Panel Discussion in Chicago

July 26, 1993

Once again, let me say how delighted I am to be here and to see all of you here and how pleased I am to see the Secretaries of Labor and Commerce working together. We're trying to build some teamwork in our Cabinet that have not historically been there. And I think that this is a good example.

I understand that this morning's panels were quite interesting, and I got a play-by-play description for a few moments when we were taking a break in there. So far you have focused on what we mean by the new American workplace and the problems and barriers that companies and workers must struggle with in redesigning their organizations.

I, frankly, am learning how hard this can be myself, because we have a very serious project underway now in the Federal Government in trying to reinvent the Federal Government. The project is headed by the Vice President. We have sought out the opinions of a number of people in this room that I recognize here today. But I think that next month—or, excuse me, in September—when we announce the report of the reinventing Government task force, you will be very pleased to see that we're trying to take another page out of your book to make the Government more efficient and to work better.

Our responsibility, it seems to me, as I said in my speech, is to create the most favorable economic conditions. Sometimes that means reducing the deficit; sometimes it means specific incentives or programs; other times it means just getting out of your way and deregulating. The Government's relationship to the private sector are changing the nature of that relationship.

There are challenges that are clearly unique to the workplace, outside the realm of Government, that you have to meet by yourselves but with our encouragement and without our interference. Those are the things we're going to focus on now. The purpose of this panel is to focus on why companies and public institutions are literally reinventing themselves organizationally by asking such questions as what benefits workers receive from new workplace organizations; why unions should support these practices; how companies' bottom lines are affected; and how moving to high-performance work can help improve our Nation's economic performance. We can begin to establish high-performance workplaces as the models, the rules, if you will, for our country's new economy.

NOTE: The President spoke at 2:24 p.m. at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel.

William J. Clinton, Remarks in a Conference Panel Discussion in Chicago Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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