Creating Innovation: “A Field Guide to Herding Cats”

Creating Innovation in Government
NextGen Conference Luncheon Keynote
Presented by Andreas Addison, “Civic Innovator,” City of Richmond, VA

How can you innovate in government? Andreas Addison, self proclaimed Civic Innovator for the City of Richmond, VA, compares the process of creating innovation in government to herding cats. It is a challenge to make a cat do something it does not want to do. The trick is to get one cat to like you. Andreas provides the following tips to herd cats:

1. Know your cat
2. Find what they like
3. Plan it all out
4. Do all the work
5. Give them the glory

Herding cats is only part of creating innovation in government. A complete innovation project will have the following characteristics:

1. Successful plan
2. Resources + people + $$$ = success
3. Immediate wins/results
4. Make them look good!

To find out more about Andreas Addison follow him at @andreasRVA.

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Dale M. Posthumus

I don’t know that I accept the herding cats analogy, but that is not important. Otherwise I am in general agreement with what you say. I will add, I believe innovation starts with a champion, not necessarily the person who came up with the idea, but somebody (may be more than one) who is committed to the idea, fights for its realization. No idea is obvisously a good one relative to competing resources and organizational culture.