We Need Innovation in Government – Share Your Ideas!
Posted by Plish on February 12, 2009
New CEO says we must innovate and create new opportunities.
There is agreement from Senior Management that this is true, but disagreements over methodology.
Meetings come and meetings go. Arguments ensue over where to put money and resources.
CEO tries to rally all those around her :
“Look, these are difficult times and we need to stop the bleeding. I know every plan isn’t perfect but if we keep bickering and arguing we’ll pass the point of no return. Bottom line: I was picked to lead this company and I have to do what I believe is right. The buck stops here!”
“Anyone who argues by referring to authority is not using his mind but rather his memory.” Leonardo da Vinci
Plan is not communicated well enough to create buy-in through the ranks. In fact, there’s doubt plan will even work. Personal agenda items seem to creep into discussions. Innovation is something that is expected to occur once plan is in place but there’s doubt.
Plan gets pushed through.
Half-hearted support throughout the ranks results in serious stalls. Those at lower levels are talking at the lunch table:
“Man, with the new CEO you would think something would change around here.”
“What did you expect? The CEO can only do so much. She’s got all those other folks around her that still think the same old way.”
“And, act the same old way.”
This company is in trouble. So what should management do?
“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” -Albert Einstein
“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” -Albert Einstein
This failure of an innovation initiative is common in companies with inertia: Large Corporations. Even though innovation is a goal, because of the lack of an innovative infrastructure, innovation isn’t supported and in fact, is hindered.
We’re seeing the same problem now in the US government. This problem isn’t about bad people; it’s about bad systems and the inability for politicians to think, act, cooperate and lead in bold new ways.
“Two heads are better than one”
I propose that ‘heads’ be replaced by ‘idealogies’ or ‘perspectives’. For innovation to occur, business/government can not be driven by one party-cular point of view. Instead, multiple ideologies/perspectives need to be dialoging, reaching a dynamic consensus that advances and empowers the employees/people to give their best, reap the rewards of their labors, and contribute to the common good.
“Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.” – President John F. Kennedy
Blame shifts the focus to remembering the past; innovation requires forgetting it. Blaming a person, party or regime for any situation is not new or innovative. Unfortunately, it is the de facto way of operating in the government. This should not and can not continue. Innovative ways of reaching consensus must become the order of the day. The old ways of investigations and innuendo must change. There must be an openness to alternate perspectives, a willingness to rise above the popularity of polls, lobbyists and special interests, a willingness to embrace brilliance wherever it shines.
“The restriction of knowledge to an elite group destroys the spirit of the society and leads to its intellectual impoverishment.” -Albert Einstein
Innovation/creativity is the birthright of all people. As such their voices need to be heard.
This is your chance.
How can government be fixed?
What metrics should be used to determine the effectiveness of day to day governing?
What things should they start doing to stop doing business as usual and start innovating?
A culture of innovation must start permeating this government that is supposed to be, “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”
This problem can’t be solved by creating a Secretary of Innovation post .
Individuals, families, companies, have found, and will continue to find, ways to make ends meet through creativity and innovation. They will continue to shine!
It’s the government’s turn…