Government 2.0 is transformative
• Gov 2.0 significa cambiare lo status quo dello
stato in vari modi.
• Quali? Tra gli altri: innovazione attraverso la PA,
trasparenza dei suoi processi, collaborazione tra
le parti , partecipazione dei cittadini. In total,
these would constitute a huge transformation of
government, at any level.
• These basic categories were formally established
by the White House shortly after President
Obama took office in a memo titled,
"Transparency and Open Government
• One common source of confusion about Gov 2.0 is whether it's primarily about
fixing communication and collaboration within agencies, or between government,
the stakeholders in it and the citizens it serves. The answer is of course all of them.
None is in particular more important than any others, and in fact they are
interlinking and counter-dependent on each others' progress.
• One could say, though, that the "lowest" level of Gov 2.0 is within-organization
Gov 2.0, simply making government more efficient, responsive, etc. at the most
basic level -- with employees who often work in the same building.
• Then the next level up is helping similar employees at organizations work better
with each other (the "interagency process" or what have you), where these
organizations might be the FBI and the DOT, or the city of New York and the
Department of Homeland Security, or two neighboring states on the Mexican
• Then finally, one level higher, you have the interaction of all of this with citizens.
• Typically, a government employee, a stakeholder, or a citizen only cares about one
of these levels, but at any given time an organization or group is regardless
involved in all three.
• Let's face it, a lot of Gov 2.0 is about technology, particularly new
and emerging technologies including but not limited to social web
platforms, mobile devices, and cloud computing, and how they can
transform and empower government. As with levels of Gov 2.0,
which technology is most important and how much that changes
your role is highly dependent on where you sit.
• Nevertheless, the holistic view of Gov 2.0 is that these are all
important. A public affairs person or a citizen might see government
presence on social networks as most important, whereas
government scientists might see crowdsourcing on a dedicated
website most important, and law enforcement may be focused on
unified communications. Regardless, technology is empowering Gov
2.0 transformation of old jobs, and even creating emerging roles
like "new media director" in some places as well.
Government 2.0 is iterative
• Government 2.0 is certainly not static. The way in
which Gov 2.0 transforms at all levels using technology
is through an iterative process of (1) identifying
problems to be solved, (2) conducting experiments, (3)
determining if a solution was found, re-conducting
experiments if necessary, and identifying new
problems. This process never really ends.
• Furthermore this picture shows that experiments not
tied to problems are not really relevant. Employees
uncomfortable with solving problems through a
process of experimentation and trial and error, and not
able to explain that to supervisors or peers, will have
difficulty implementing Gov 2.0 practices.
Government 2.0 is mission-driven
• For all the writing above about finding solutions to "problems" through
experimentation and "failing forward fast," these things are only useful if
they're tied to the mission of an organization.
• Gov 2.0 at its core is about achieving missions. Sometimes using Twitter
will not be appropriate. Sometimes it is. Sometimes blogging is helpful.
Sometimes it isn't. Sometimes your employees should work on wikis
together; sometimes they shouldn't. Everyone needs to learn about
technologies and apply them appropriately to problems that apply to their
missions. Don't be confused about this.
• Ultimately, this is a basic process. What's your mission? What's your
general strategy for achieving it? How do current policies, rules, and laws
(see next section) affect that strategy? Now, what tactics will you use to
carry out your strategy? Mainly, the technologies and experiments happen
with the tactics, not the strategy. Don't be confused about that, either.
Government 2.0 is policy-based
• Unlike more generalized topic matter like Enterprise 2.0, which applied to private
businesses and other organizations, the narrower topic of Gov 2.0 is heavily
influenced by all kinds of rules, regulations, policies, and laws at all levels of
government and in all different kinds of organizations. In many ways these policies
hinder transformation, and a big part of Gov 2.0 is dealing with this fact.
Government employees I know are all-too-familiar with this.
• Many policies have to do with "the public" -- making sure they are treated equally,
being sure to take into account disabilities and other situations, their privacy
concerning personal information, and so forth. Others have to do with
cybersecurity, open data standards, and other issues. This is complicated, and
these policies are not necessarily interoperable (I use that term loosely here) with
the accelerated pace of Web 2.0 and other technology evolutions in Silicon Valley
and elsewhere. The value systems of companies like Facebook serving advertisers
and game designers are not necessarily aligned with the value systems of
governments serving citizens.
• Thus while many technology companies and products (like Facebook) hold true
value for governments and citizens, they all operate within an ecosystem of
policies that affect the tactics that can be used in practice.
• Government 2.0 does not exist in a government vacuum. (Well, maybe
some of it does.) To the extent that it serves or interacts with citizens,
those citizens serve an an operating environment for government.
Environments can change. Citizen 2.0 is the idea that all the technologies
and experiments and spirit of change and reform and participation are
available to the common person as well as the government.
• Thus, to some degree, citizens can decide how to make government more
transparent, collaborative, and participatory on their own. They can
scrape government websites for data, create open wikis, retweet
government bulletins, and so forth. They can also use these tools to
protest in various ways when the government is not transformative in the
ways they want, when government doesn't improve in the ways the public
thinks it should. (Imagine a tech-savvy group like Code Pink protesting a
perceived lack of TSA sophistication in airports by secretly capturing
videos and posting them, etc.) Regardless of the exact form this takes,
what citizens do with new technologies will affect what government does,
and vice versa, creating a balance.
Government 2.0 is counterbalancing
• Everything begins and ends with your mission. T
• hen, Gov 2.0 is about a transformation process involving innovation for transparency, collaboration,
and/or participation related to your mission. This may involve one or more "levels" ranging from
within-organization, to between-organization, to government-citizen interaction, but to some
degree these all affect each other anyway.
• Then, a strategy is formed around completing a mission better in the spirit of Gov 2.0, and this
strategy is carried out within a complicated environment of government-specific and non-specific
policies -- rules, regulations, laws, and the like. That then determines which tactics can and cannot
be used to carry out the strategy to improve a mission. These tactics will often involve using new
and emerging technologies. The use of these technologies involves a trial-and-error process of
identifying small problems, experimenting to solve them, and assessing possible solutions. This trial
and error differs from tactic to tactic, even within a strategy or mission.
• Next, a general assessment takes place of how well a suite of deployed tactics was able to meet the
original strategy. However, this assessment occurs not only within the government offices but
within an environment of citizens who are stakeholders in the whole operation. Their changing
needs, attitudes, and use of technologies themselves can affect how well the tactics met the
strategy, or even what the strategy is -- creating a technological counterbalance of sorts between
government and citizens. Finally, an assessment is made as to how Gov 2.0 may or may not have
improved a mission.
• I think that this workflow, to some degree, is happening for every single person in every
government or government-related job that Gov 2.0 is affecting. What do you think?