The standard advice to government innovators is:
“First make sure you have the support of agency officials.”
That’s like advising soldiers:
“First make sure the enemy has run out of ammunition.”
It would be great, but if you wait for it to happen then you may never act.
Independent Demonstration Projects is a successful strategy to innovate in government without prior approval of officials. The innovator implements her idea as a minimum viable product, using whatever resources are available to her. Once the innovation is implemented, it creates pressure on officials to sustain or expand it using government resources.
If you’re registered for the ASPA 2021 conference, you can see our panel on-demand at https://www.engagez.net/ASPA2021?snc=707858#lct=conferencecenter–824468
It explains how the passive-aggressive sheet cake pictured here created government innovation.
My slides are open access at https://publicadministrationcasereports.files.wordpress.com/2021/04/reed-independent-demonstration-projects-slides-for-aspa-panel.pdf
If you want to find the papers about public sector innovation that will be presented at the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) conference in April, then look at the overlay track I compiled: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1lscHPoUQfFCD4ya6uzplabf4UPpXxvlBf65IzL6DUho/edit?usp=sharing
What’s an overlay track? An overlay journal curates papers that have been published elsewhere, so readers can see which papers will be worth their time. My overlay track is a spreadsheet that lists papers at the ASPA conference that are about innovation, regardless of which of the conference tracks they are in.
If you will be presenting at ASPA about innovation, or if you know a paper about innovation that will be presented at ASPA and isn’t on my overlay track yet, then please let me know so I can add it.