Very interesting topic.
Looking at my experience I have a suspect: when innovation is not driven by profit, it requires a stronger commitment to overtake past dependencies, constraints. Usually people say “The way we have being always doing works, why do we have to change?”.
People have fear that change could provoke the lost of something – power, role, pace – and the need of something else – new skills, knowledge, new behaviours -. The company, and the local governments, I work with both are shy about innovation.
For both it is hard to innovate as it requires a lot of resources and employees demonstrate a low level of commitment.
Local Governments, and national one also, they are talking about innovation, but they still remain a bureaucratic gear trapped into rules and norms that prevent any true change.
Another weak point is that few take into account best practices and previous experiences. For me innovation is strictly linked to shared knowledge as the knowledge of group is higher than the sum every single knowledge. Just an example. Few days ago I read about a new crowdsourcing platform for local government, developed in Italy. I asked why they did not use or implemented any existing open source platform, and if the project was financed.
The answer did not consider the open source issue, but only the fact that it was not financed as they sell the back-end.
Many people don’t know anything about the open solutions and they don’t want to be part of the game, but to play their own one. For this type of person, success and reputation are something that hardly they would share with a wide community.
Maybe I went far from this topic, but innovate means to have a dream, a set of values, a a strong will to do something for the community and not for oneself.
Poll of the Week
Could your inbox use a little more awesome?
Sign up to get a daily dose of awesome gov-focused resources, trainings, blogs and articles to help you do you job better.