One of the things that I discovered after writing my book, The Global Brain, was that the public sector (or Government) is not that much different from the private sector in terms of the nature of the innovation and problem-solving challenges it faces. Indeed, in many areas of the government, ranging from education and health care to homeland security and environmental conservation, the nature of the problems has changed drastically—they are increasingly ill-defined or emergent, involve diverse sets of stakeholders, and cross organizational and geographic boundaries.
It has also become evident that the transformational innovation – in business models, operations, and services offered by government agencies – needed to address such problems are unlikely to always originate from within the four walls of the government. Government agencies will need to “look outside” and harness the creative talent and expertise that reside outside their boundaries. In short, the opportunities offered by The Global Brain are as relevant and valuable to government agencies and other public sector organizations as they are to private companies such as IBM, P&G, and Boeing.
I recently completed a research report (sponsored by the IBM Center for the Business of Government) that describes the different roles government agencies can assume in pursuing collaborative innovation with a diverse set of partners including other government agencies (federal/state/local), non-profit organizations, private companies, citizens, and universities.
As I write in my report, the performance of American government in the 21st century will be shaped by how well it adopts such collaborative innovation to harness external resources and creativity in addressing the nation’s most challenging issues.
To download a copy of my report (or to get a ‘free-of-charge’ hard copy), pl. visit the IBM Center for the Business of Government website.