Is it possible for government agencies to innovate? Yes, if they use the right people. And in the case of the US Government: a startup mentality.

In the video above, Haley Van Dyck outlines how her teams at the United States Digital Service used the skills and techniques of Silicon Valley to effect real change in departments which were in dire need of innovation.

The federal government is the largest institution in the world, and spends $86 billion annually just on IT projects. And 94% of those projects end up over budget or behind schedule, and 40% never even finish.

[Editor’s note: I did the math, and $86bn is more than the 2015 GDP of 125 countries!]

As Van Dyck put it:

When the status quo is failure, there is simply no other choice apart from radical disruption

So what did the USDS do in order to actually execute its new ideas:

  1. Recruit the very best talent from across the country’s most successful companies for short tours of duty
  2. Pair these people with dedicated civil servants already working in government
  3. Target their effort to the most mission critical, life-changing services that government offers
  4. Give them “air cover” from leadership all the way to the top
  5. Have these teams take something that is routine and standard in one industry (in this case, Silicon Valley) and transfer that way of thinking and working into somewhere where it is a radical departure to disrupt it
  6. Split what were previously large, multi-year projects into smaller, bite-sized projects where progress could be seen and monitored more rapidly, and be executed by much smaller, focused teams

Have a look at the video, and see whether that thinking could apply to your organisation. It might be just as applicable in any large organisation as it is in government.

Do you like insights into innovation like this?

Then sign up for your FREE account from Idea to Value to not only get great pieces of insight like this every week, but also free training on improving your creativity and company innovation capabilities from some of the world’s leading innovation experts.

Do you have any experience with innovations in government agencies? How did it go? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to share and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Did you know that scientific evidence shows your creativity decreases over time

Idea to Value Podcast: Listen and Subscribe now

Listen and Subscribe to the Idea to Value Podcast. The best expert insights on Creativity and Innovation. If you like them, please leave us a review as well.
The following two tabs change content below.
Creativity & Innovation expert: I help individuals and companies build their creativity and innovation capabilities, so you can develop the next breakthrough idea which customers love. Chief Editor of and Founder / CEO of Improvides Innovation Consulting. Coach / Speaker / Author / TEDx Speaker / Voted as one of the most influential innovation bloggers.