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What Gov 2.0 Needs Now: Managers, Money and Models

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Many in the government 2.0 community are taking stock of the current state of the movement, asking questions like:



The fact that members of the movement are asking these questions is a clear sign that something is changing, as if we’re moving from one phase to another.



That’s why HP’s latest survey, conducted on September 7-8, 2010, with just over 100 IT professionals, is timely and telling. Here are a few of the findings (full survey results can be found at the bottom of this post):


  • 76% feel that they understand what Gov 2.0 entails
  • 2/3 believe Gov 2.0 will improve their agency
  • Social networks are the most commonly used tools
  • Security concerns are the main barrier to adoption
  • Improved public services is top reason to adopt


What I found the most interesting about the survey – and where I gained inspiration for the title of this post – are the top three ways to encourage Gov 2.0 in an agency:


  • 31% said “management takes the lead"
  • 26% said “increase technology budget"
  • 16% said examples of corporate best practices”


In essence, it comes down to managers, money and models. To be honest, these needs aren’t new. In fact, if HP had conducted this same poll 2 years ago, they would have received most of the same answers, including “demonstrate ROI or other benefits (15%)” and “consulting by outside social media experts (7%).” It’s the second reason that strikes me as the most significant shift.


Why? Two years ago, the main emphasis was not so much on getting an allocation for social media and associated technology as a line-item in the budget. We were all enamored with the fact that these tools were free! In fact, “low cost solution” was probably among the top three reasons that most people used to make the case for early adoption.


What we’ve discovered is that these tools are not “free.” They cost an agency primarily in the staff time required to develop, maintain and measure them effectively. And if an agency really wants to take the tools and technology to the next level, there is a cost associated with integrating them into traditional marketing, information technology and human resource
plans.


So the three main questions for the government 2.0 movement at this stage can be summed up as follows:


  1. Are your managers on board yet?
  2. Did you successfully advocate for funding in the FY 2011 budget and, if so, how are you using it (or, if not, why not?)?
  3. Do we have an easily searchable repository of best practices that present multiple paths to successful execution?


Ultimately, 65% of respondents said “Gov 2.0 will improve my agency.” If we really believe that to be true, then it’s time to get the managers, money and models on board in order to avoid a sophomore slump and to sustain the movement’s momentum.

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Tags: ", , HP, gov, gov, , gov, gov, 2, budgeting, communications, gov", jobs, tech

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Comment by Paola Wolowitz on December 29, 2010 at 10:23pm
What we need is transparency from all angles. if we could do a wikileaks style GOV 2.0 site, we would be taking a huge step forward.
Comment by David G. Smith on October 20, 2010 at 8:07am
There needs to be a balance - while it's absolutely vital and critical to promote innovation, when you get the thousand flowers blooming wildly, it can lead to stovepipes, disconnects, and poorly-leveraged investments. Agencies need people who are truly big-picture thinkers to coordinate and focus efforts, and to connect the dots so that the innovations can build upon each other as a greater whole, rather than having efforts all just crowd each other and bleed the life out of each other.

In the current government environment, it's no longer simply enough to build a better mousetrap - that better mousetrap also has to be able to directly align with mission efforts, and ideally also have replicatability, scalability, and provide benefit across a broader range of agency efforts - and potentially benefit other agencies, the public, academia, industry as well. We need to elevate thinking beyond just the immediate task at hand.
Comment by Andrew Krzmarzick on October 7, 2010 at 11:58am
Thanks for your, uh, openness, @Angela ;-) It's not as simple as having a series of talking points or FAQs that you work from, eh? Covey's "Speed of Trust" is becoming more and more prophetic/relevant...
Comment by Angela Sanchez on October 7, 2010 at 10:41am
@Andrew - Overexposure for us means revealing ulterior motives, political motivations, and agency practices the general public doesn't support. We've taken a beating through social media channels and traditional media lately.

The problem with social media is it demands interaction and accountability. My social media team and I are often caught in the middle between unhappy taxpayers demanding answers and our admin and legal personnel forbidding open discussion.
Comment by Darron Passlow on October 6, 2010 at 8:51pm
Applying innovation to change management is the key to success here. (refer the Toyota Way)
We need to be educating governments on the benefits of applying innovation (techniques and practices) with the bottom up drivers and the top down support.
Comment by Bill Brantley on October 6, 2010 at 5:57pm
@Andrew - Culture Change is important but I see that more as a result of the 4 Ms (Motivation, Mangers, Money, and Models). Cultural change emerges from interactions of the entire organization and you just can't mandate it or plan it. Managers can guide it but it requires the energy from the employees to initiate and sustain it. I agree with Joe that there is a change vanguard who want Gov 2.0 but that is necessary and not sufficient to bring about the cultural change for Gov 2.0.
Comment by Andrew Krzmarzick on October 6, 2010 at 1:17pm
P.S. Andrea DiMaio has strongly critiqued this survey over on his Gartner blog:
http://blogs.gartner.com/andrea_dimaio/2010/10/06/are-government-it...
Comment by Andrew Krzmarzick on October 6, 2010 at 10:41am
@Steven and @Angela - I think it would be interesting to define overexposure. What does that mean, really? TMI? Loss of message control?

@Joe - Spot on. I think Gov 2.0 is actually more about culture change than it is about technology. Yes, web and mobile tech are drivers...but we're talking about a new way of being - both internally and externally - in which information sharing is rewarded (vs. information hoarding).
Comment by Joe Flood on October 6, 2010 at 10:15am
Surprised that no one has mentioned culture yet. There's a core group of gov folks passionately interested in social media. The larger body of employees looks at it as just another requirement. Education is key, as Jeff pointed out, to making this larger group comfortable with Gov 2.0.
Comment by Angela Sanchez on October 6, 2010 at 10:04am
@Steven - Fear of overexposure is a key factor at my agency. Even with a blazingly successful Facebook page, admin still threatens to shut down the page any time a sticky issue arises with public outcry. Ultimately, my agency doesn't want full transparency or honesty - with the public or our own employees. I have to admit it's discouraging.

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