Dear Bureaucrat, Will a new boss let me improve things?

Dear Bureaucrat,

My boss is always telling us about his core values for our office, and how one of them is innovation. But when I want to improve how we do something, he doesn’t support me. In fact he has told me not to pursue a couple of ideas because he said he has long term plans to solve those problems. (He’s not specific about the plans.) This is one reason I’m looking to switch jobs. How can I tell whether another boss would be more supportive? I can’t just ask, “Do you support innovation?” because my current boss would say yes to that, and it’s not true.

Hedy Lamarr


Dear Hedy,

Sounds like your supervisor does not want your improvements stealing attention from his rhetoric. Research provides a clue on how to pick a next boss who does not just talk the talk…Read the rest in Federal Times:

Dear Bureaucrat, How can I be part of real innovation?

Dear Bureaucrat,

I thought I was in a great innovation project, but then it fell apart. Three years ago, our agency head announced we were going to be a data-driven organization. I became my branch’s representative to the task force she created to make that happen. It was exciting. We held workshops with all parts of the agency, came up with as-is and to-be descriptions of how we use data, and gave a briefing for the agency head. She said we had done great work. But after that, when we wanted to move forward and implement parts of the to-be vision, we couldn’t get management to focus on it. Now we have a new agency head, and his chief of staff told us they are working on other priorities. I feel like all my effort was wasted. How can I tell whether an innovation project will really get results, before I invest my time and enthusiasm in it?

Tom Edison

Dear Tom,

You were part of “innovation theater,” where officials encourage employees to go through the motions of an innovation process…Read the rest in Federal Times