So why was Gary Vaynerchuk, @garyvee of #crushit fame, asked to keynote the Gov 2.0 Expo this week in Washington DC? He is not a tech guy. He doesn’t work for government. For all I know, he doesn’t have anything to do with government (except his contempt for interstate wine shipping laws). I believe he was invited because he has a deep, personal passion for what he does. He grew up in the industry where he now has thrived. If you read his book, Crush It, the wild passion for not just his job but life, dreams and all those sappy things oozes from the pages. He’s not embarrased one bit.
So how does this apply to government? For local government, we spend an inordinate amount of time defining what we’re doing (What is Gov 2.0: The Meme), trying to develop overwrought strategic plans with overstaffed planning committees, and then convincing and sometimes training people. Is it an age issue? Sometimes. Is it a financial/man hour issue? Sometimes. But if we are to succeed in open government initiatives and truly be transparent, we as a government need to, as Gary says, “work our asses off.” To truly harness the power of social media we need to rethink when we work, rethink where we work, how we work, and how we approach our jobs. If we show passion, our customers – the citizens – will become passionate and compassionate.
As I walk around the Washington Convention Center these past few days, I was surrounded by people who have passion. But will we go back and create a “pin up” calendar for our public works staff to get people to read the water quality report as Kathy Sierra posted. Why not believe we could get 40 percent of residents using online apps like @dustinhaisler has with @manorlabs in a tiny Texas town. Or we will say continue to say “we could never do THAT.” Why not? When one person shows passion and initiative, it becomes contagious. It spreads.
Or am I just being sappy and unrealistic? @Garyvee will do that to you. But when you hear him speak, do you think he WON’T buy the New York Jets some day soon?
Join us tonight, May 26 at 9 EST for #localgovchat for more on this and other great topics from #g2e.