Enabling Customer-Driven Innovation in the Federal Government

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, 2017

26 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2017

See all articles by Robert D. Atkinson

Robert D. Atkinson

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

Daniel Castro

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

Stephen J. Ezell

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

Date Written: July 10, 2017

Abstract

Improving federal enterprise performance is a perennial topic, from Eisenhower’s Hoover Commission, to Reagan’s Grace Commission, to Clinton’s Reinventing Government, to Bush’s E-Gov Initiatives, to Obama’s innovation efforts. But one major thing is different today. The challenge from the postwar period to the 1980s was principally for the federal enterprise to copy management structures and innovations in large Fortune 500 companies, something that was possible because the latter were bureaucratic structures themselves. Today, the challenge for all large organizations, public and private, is to become more flexible and to use technology to transform themselves. This is hard in big corporations; it is much harder in the federal enterprise. But that does not mean the task is insurmountable. It only means that much more significant change is needed: more than a few innovation pilot programs. Rather, the challenge now is to transform the entire federal enterprise through innovation. This report first discusses the nature of innovation and why it is important in government. It then discusses the unique challenges facing the federal enterprise. Finally, it lays out actionable recommendations the federal government should adopt to transform itself through innovation.

Keywords: innovation, government, services, enterprise, customers

Suggested Citation

Atkinson, Robert D. and Castro, Daniel and Ezell, Stephen J., Enabling Customer-Driven Innovation in the Federal Government (July 10, 2017). Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, 2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3066177

Robert D. Atkinson (Contact Author)

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation ( email )

1101 K Street N.W.
Suite 610
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Daniel Castro

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation ( email )

1101 K Street NW
Suite 610
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Stephen J. Ezell

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation ( email )

1101 K Street N.W.
Suite 610
Washington, DC 20005
United States

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