I have yet to see the case study of massive change management of innovation where a group of people came in and, like a whirlwind, changed everyone’s thoughts and executed the whole thing themselves. It just doesn’t happen that way.
What you saw early on [with 18F] was a lot of friction around the messaging. Innovators were going to parachute in and save government. Every time I read that, I cringed. I thought, “Oh, that’s just put us back a year.” The reality is we had clearance from above to take more risks. Because of that, the people who were in government who couldn’t take risks could come to us, and we could collaborate on something. We became an idea channel.
It is unfortunate when the appearance is that somehow this person invented the idea, and they’re going to save government. That’s not how it works. Government’s going to have to save itself. It’s too big.
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