“No government official or business leader can assume technology will cure their organization’s woes. All forms of innovation and technology require intent and direction to produce a proper, valuable outcome. A coherent and disciplined management approach is important for several reasons.”
There is often an almost magical belief by many in the public sector that technology alone will allow communities to innovate their way through all of their challenges. This goes along with an over reliance on using a business-clone model of community governance. One just has to find the right Iphone or Android app for the particular community challenge and have a city hall based manager implement it.
Now Iphone or Android apps and other Internet based technologies can be very useful in addressing community challenges and communities should be using business based disciplines but as Faisal Hoque, founder, chairman, and CEO at BTM Corporation and founder of research think-tank BTM Institute points out technology alone is not enough. This is especially true if a community is seeking substantial change in how it defines itself, if it is seeking to disrupt old ways of thinking and create some new paradigms.
Clayton Christensen first coined the term Disruptive Technology but then later expanded the term to Disruptive Innovation to better encompass concepts such as the Job-To-Be-Done in addressing customer or citizen needs and wants. To understand the Job-To-Be-Done in a community setting requires the deep involvement of the community itself then questions as to the role of technology can be addressed.
What is important is how the technology is applied. New technology implemented through old thinking by entrenched bureaucratic institutions does not bring about significant change. Faisal Hoque’s principles of ‘Governing’ Innovation are using technology as a tool for creating efficiencies in government organizations, which lead to better services for citizens, continuing synergistic improvement initiatives (which) will outpace any single investment in technology, or any innovation in process or practice, the design and execution of technology implementations that produce a cost savings or improved service delivery and appreciation of the material risks inherent in the creation and use of technology. He calls for a Collaborative Roadmap for Success between the private and public sector to achieve this.
“Clearly defining the mission and vision of a public sector department or agency, effectively creating and communicating a roadmap to achieve the desired outcomes and then validating the actual results sounds simple. Yet many government agencies display only limited success in creating an environment, which reinforces the development of strategic goals through processes that organize and align their activities in support of achieving goals.”