Govloop, one of the most important networks focused on open government, has a great discussion thread taking place focused on the question of Who Should be the Next U.S Deputy CTO? Read it as there are many great conversations taking place about open government as a whole, not just on who should fill this critical role.
One contributor, Megan, notes:
“No matter who it is, we definitely need more top-down coordination for OpenGov. OpenGov/Gov 2.0 still seems somewhat haphazard and inconsistent in terms of how the Departments, Agencies, State and Local Gov’t are implementing it.”
This is, and has always been, one of my deepest concerns with the approach taken towards open government. The majority of success stories are from organizations with passionate individuals driving his change, not with passionate leadership setting critical operational goals that individuals are solving using new and creative approaches. As I noted back to Megan:
“Exactly! I have been arguing it must be top-down driven or we would reach a point where fragmentation would ultimately bite us. We’re nearing that point and it is critical that whomever steps into this role understands that we must balance the creativity of individual passion with top-down strategic vision.”
We are seeing people transition from their current roles into new roles, both in and outside of the public sector. In many cases the replacements have not been identified, much less groomed, to take over the key changes brought about by open government efforts. As we bring in new leaders the burden of responsibility goes far beyond simply deploying cool technologies. Cloud computing, mobile, and social media are simply enablers of change, they are not the desired goals of the change.
True leadership…. Fearless leadership… these are what we need today to ensure long-term positive change. Will the White House hire a leader or a technology visionary? Lets see what happens.
Originally posted on Government in The Lab.