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Learning Nugget 9 - Digital Disruption in Government

There are two emerging terms in business. Unicorns and Exponential Companies.

What's a Unicorn Company =  a company that rapidly gains to a valuation of a billion-dollars. Currently Unicorns are achieving this in circa 2 years from start up (see graphic below)

So what’s an exponential company ? An Exponential Organization is one whose impact (or output) is disproportionally large—at least 10x larger—compared to its peers because of the use of new organizational techniques that leverage accelerating technologies.

An exponential company is defined against the below criteria….

External facing questions

  • Does it have a Massive, Transformative Purpose, (or MTP)?

  • How externalized are business functions?

  • How much are on-demand staff and on-demand assets utilized?

  • How well are Community and Crowd leveraged?

  • Are algorithms a core part of the organization?

  • How information based are its products and services?

Internal facing questions

  • How well are interfaces created to manage external scalability?

  • Are OKRs and Lean Metrics used to track performance?

  • How well does the organization encourage risk-taking and experimentation?

  • Does the organization operate top-down, command and control hierarchies, or flat, autonomous, collaborative team structures?

  • How well are social technologies integrated into the organization?

The first and most important is the MTP. Massive Transformative Purpose. Is this outcome based ? Indeed it is. A greater good, a higher calling.

MTP or Massive Transformative Purpose

So what does this all have to do with digital transformation in Government (or private sector for that matter).

As government, federal, state and local seek to transform the purpose and delivery of government to a more digital one, your company is well placed to help them re-imagine, re-think and re-create an amazing new future.

Need further evidence ?

Here’s a small number of articles that outline various thoughts and analysis on the state of digital transformation in Govt.

The above article from Deloitte (to do it justice it’s a solid 15-20 min read). There are a couple of key points here. Thinking back to the workshop and specifically the 10 types of innovation. Governments down have “profit models” but they do have budgets and need to break even, that’s being disrupted. The citizen experience is being driven by citizens with increasingly impatient expectations. They are partnering for increased capability. But the most clear takeaway is the important aspects of success are changes in processes and people. NOT technology. Yep, digital transformation is actually about changing processes. Not about adding technology. This further reinforces the thinking on process and risk related dialogue when talking with non technical executives. Very good report.

The second report is a wonderfully detailed report from the Manhattan Institute. Published in mid 2014 it explores the why, what and how of Govt digital transformation. This one is a bit of a long read at 37 pages, but well worth it. Even for those not focussed purely on Govt. Many of the sighted drivers and levers for change are as applicable in private sector as they are in govt. In short they summarise the 5 key levers as;

Chapter 1. Information: The Key to Effective Government

Chapter 2. Making Data Matter in Administrative Systems

Chapter 3. Infrastructure Management

Chapter 4. Predictive Tools for Public Safety

Chapter 5. Regulatory Reform with Data and Technology

The full report can be found here

The third is a very very short HBR article (less than 5 min read) on the obstacles to Digital transformation success. What’s interesting is that when you think about the barriers listed these are enormous, especially for Govt. Again heavy focus on people and process barriers, not technology.

The final piece is from Verizon. Here’s 3 short (7-9 min each) video’s where George Fischer and Mike Maiorana (SVP Public Sector Sales) are interviewed to get their perspective on digital transformation in Govt. As we’ve learned the importance of having outcome led conversations. These three video’s strike a nice balance between outcome based dialogue and what are the primary disruptive technologies and their capabilities that will enabled significant digital transformation for Government.

This interview was conducted on 11th Aug 2015

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