January 4, 2017
Tech-powered innovation gradually comes to every vertical of national ecosystems – the financial services industry, the insurance industry, manufacturing, etc. The governing structure – the founding element of every nation – however, has been largely overlooked by entrepreneurs in both developed and developing countries. Meanwhile, the business of government is arguably one of the most complex and resource-consuming structures in a severe demand for innovation.
Many citizens believe that the public sector is incapable of such innovation because of the absence of competitive forces, lack of incentives for employees, and excessive red tape. And ordinary citizens are not alone in their concern. Government leaders and employees are quick to point toward systemic problems such as outmoded human resources systems, a budgeting process that rewards extraordinary performance by reducing future resources, and burdensome request for proposal (RFP) systems as explanations for their lack of change, noted Nikhil R. Sahni, Maxwell Wessel and Clayton M. Christensen in their analysis of conditions for breakthrough innovation in government.
Fortunately, leaders inside the public sector are slowly learning to pursue major breakthroughs without the benefit of the profit motives that drive entrepreneurs elsewhere. And the private sector is playing an immense role in pushing innovation into various verticals of government’s business, taking into consideration the complexity of governmental structure.
The federal government [US] spends almost $4 trillion a year. It has hundreds of agencies and runs more than 2,300 subsidy programs. It employs 2.1 million civilian workers, 1.4 million uniformed military personnel, and 560,000 postal workers. It is a huge organization, experts note.