We Need Solutions in the Next Four Years: What Can the Book ‘Little Bets’ Teach Us?

With the election behind us, what will President Obama’s approach to our nation’s problems be?

One way to think about government innovation is through the lens of “Little Bets,” a book about the creative process written by Peter Sims. He was a keynote speaker at GovDelivery’s event “Digital Government: The Transformative Power of Communications.” Sims’ keynote focused our country’s need for transformational leadership and government innovation. With our growing debt, aging baby boomers, and rising need for energy alternatives, we need creative solutions from our leadership. Listen below for Sims’ keynote speech:

Making “little bets” means that we need to try options that may fail. We ask ourselves, “what’s an affordable loss?” and try our hand at the strategies where the benefits could outweigh the costs.

“When you’re thinking about doing something new in your job, don’t put the pressure of trying to get it all figured out up front because that’s not the way innovation works… The research is very clear on this. You have to start by getting out of the perfectionist mindset.”

With some of the large challenges our government is facing, there is no precedent for us to build our solutions from. In order to come up with real solutions, we may have to try innovative strategies, and some may fail. But these are all part of the learning process and will ultimately lead to improvements.

Learn more about Peter Sims’ book, “Little Bets,” by listening to his interview on the DorobekINSIDER. Sims’ book was also featured in the DorobekINSIDER book club, which you can access here. Finally, check out a blog post that summarizes Sims’ presentation at the GovDelivery event.

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