Innovation by putting purpose into practice


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Policies expressed in legislation are the basis upon which public services are built. Therefore one would expect that legislation and innovative use of legislation is a key element in eGovernment initiatives. However, it almost seems that policies and their expressions in legislation live in a parallel universe of the eGovernment universe. eGovernment initiatives usually don’t make a direct connection between purpose (intended effect) and practice (operations and outcome). This affects the overall ability of governments to execute policies and the sustainability of eGovernment initiatives. We conclude that innovation by putting purpose into practice is a game changing Megatrend, a trend that has already started, as research and case studies proof. The ‘alternative’ for not engaging in this trend is unacceptable long cycle times, eroded agility, affected governance and compliance, high costs which are multiplied by doing the same in multiple places, evitable administrative burdens and red tape, decreased productivity gains of rare resources, and various forms of sub-optimization.
Putting purpose into practice by synthesizing policy making and policy execution yields considerable economic and social benefits, as initiatives in The Netherlands proof.

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Innovation by putting purpose into practice

  1. 1. Innovation by putting purpose into practice Megatrend or Metatrend in eGovernment? Key words: Regulatory policy, policy making and policy execution, policy management, eGovernment innovation; sustainability of public services, knowledge worker productivity Author: Thei Geurts Wapenrustlaan 11-31 7321 DL Apeldoorn The Netherlands T + 31 (0)55 - 368 14 20 M + 31 (0)6 - 11 62 40 04 Summary: Policies expressed in legislation are the basis upon which public services are built. Therefore one would expect that legislation and innovative use of legislation is a key element in eGovernment initiatives. However, it almost seems that policies and their expressions in legislation live in a parallel universe of the eGovernment universe. eGovernment initiatives usually don’t make a direct connection between purpose (intended effect) and practice (operations and outcome). This affects the overall ability of governments to execute policies and the sustainability of eGovernment initiatives. We conclude that innovation by putting purpose into practice is a game changing Megatrend, a trend that has already started, as research and case studies proof. The ‘alternative’ for not engaging in this trend is unacceptable long cycle times, eroded agility, affected governance and compliance, high costs which are multiplied by doing the same in multiple places, evitable administrative burdens and red tape, decreased productivity gains of rare resources, and various forms of sub-optimization. Putting purpose into practice by synthesizing policy making and policy execution yields considerable economic and social benefits, as initiatives in The Netherlands proof.
  2. 2. Introduction Concepts like megatrend and paradigm shift are frequently used in presentations and articles. Especially megatrends seem to be very popular1. A real Megatrend is a game changer that affects more than one domain and initiates cultural, societal, technical, product and market change. Ubiquitous computing or the Silver society are examples of such Megatrends. These are trends that will last and have a severe impact on their environment. Of course do these Megatrends also have an impact on eGovernment. It is from this perspective that we started to look for fundamental game changers in eGovernment. In this search we focused on potential proof, looking for the presence of early indicators of a potential Megatrend. In this quest we were not looking for the obvious. Therefore we did not focus on trends like Citizen Centric Government, Empowerment of knowledge workers, Open innovation and Co-creation or Cloud and Ubiquitous computing. All these trends are basically broader societal trends with an own exponent in the domain of eGovernment. We were also not looking for obvious statements like “Change is the new Normal”, which is in essence a revitalization of the ancient Greek concept “Panta rhei”2 or “Change is the new Equilibrium” (Forum, 2007). Our intention was to discover whether there is a hidden trend, below the surface, that has a game changing impact on (e)Government. Based upon real life cases we may have found such a trend that either can be described as Megatrend or as Metatrend. The readers are invited to follow our quest and to comment on the findings. eGovernment initiatives In this article we assume that the readers are familiar to the complex, uncertain and unpredictable world in which public administrations try to meet new societal demands with reduced budgets. We also assume that they know at least a variety of innovative eGovernment initiatives that have been started, or are already in operation. These are all part of the multitude of projects and initiatives, all over Europe, dealing with various aspects of eGovernment. They address technical and infrastructural aspects, as well as aspects of public services and citizen interaction. The drivers behind these initiatives are broadly accepted and supported principles like transparency, inclusiveness, efficiency and effectiveness. In fact all the elements of the Good Governance definition of the United Nations (Unescap, 2011) can be regarded as such principles. According to this definition governments have to be: transparent, responsive, consensus oriented, equitable and inclusive, effective and efficient, participatory, accountable and follow the rule of law. A good example of initiatives that are based upon such principles can be found in The European eGovernment Action Plan 2011-2015 (European Commission, 2010). The action plan focuses on user empowerment, internal market (seamless services across Europe), efficiency and effectiveness and preconditions. The subtitle of this action plan “Harnessing ICT to promote smart, sustainable & innovative Government” illustrates the goals that are to be achieved and the means that are to be used. One could be tempted to argue that these goals equal a trend for Government to transform from an apparently not smart, not sustainable and not innovative state to a state of quasi enlightened 1 2 See e.fg: See:
  3. 3. Government. This would not do justice to the efforts, intentions, dedication and achieved results of government employees during the last decades. There is however at least in this subtitle the indication of a shift from a traditional way of working towards a new, and different, way of working. This evokes the question whether we are dealing here with an indication of a game changing trend. Let’s take a closer look at this indication of a shift. What could this shift be then? Is it an organizational and cultural issue? A change from splendid isolation towards open collaboration? A change from command and control management towards empowered self organizing knowledge workers? A change from ad hoc learning towards continuous learning? A change from inside out thinking towards outside in thinking and from push to pull? Certainly, it cannot be denied that these aspects are playing a major role in the transformation organizations are going through to cope with the demands of the increased complex society. In this sense they are, like the afore mentioned trends, general trends and not specific for eGovernment. The same argumentation can be applied to ‘technical’ changes, like the transformation from a paper based process towards a digital process or from local client facing silo-like public services towards the plug & play composite public services provided by a Government in the Cloud. The desire to harness IT to cope in an innovative way with every days challenges is quite common in government and business environments. All these trends are certainly worth closer consideration and discussion, but they are not the goal of our quest. Remember, we are not looking for the obvious. Back to the roots So the question is “What is specific for Government, and are there signs of a paradigm shift?” It all boils down towards the reason to be for Government. The essence of Government, including other manifestations of public administration, is power and the right to impose coercion on others (Auberon, 1978). The rules of the game vary whether it is e.g. a Representative Government or an Autocratic Government. In a Representative Government for instance is the government exercising public legitimated powers. Constitutional rules determine the boundaries within its power can be exercised. A major instrument that is used by Government is legislation. Legislation specifies not only the role and tasks of e.g. a government agency, it is also the form in which formulated policy intentions are expressed and formalized. Legislation is at the heart of every public administration and every public service. It is the reason to be for governments and for the services government agencies offer. It is therefore the major discriminator between public and private organizations. Initiatives, like one stop services to constituents, reducing red tape, enabling cross border services, supporting evidence based policy, e.g. by involving citizens and businesses in decision making, are all based upon policy making and legislative process. Therefore one could state that policies expressed in legislation are the basis upon which public services are built. Policy making defines the intention and course of action. The formalized results of this activity are e.g. laws, regulations and procedures. These results are input for the process of policy execution. Policy execution takes care of fine tuning political programs and bringing about their intended effects in everyday reality (Lenk, 1998). In other words: policy execution is about putting purpose into practice. Public services and the therefore used instruments are vehicles to make this possible.
  4. 4. Figure 1 From purpose to outcome (Geurts, 2011) The whole system is characterized by an accountability and a scrutiny process. Both processes contain several decision points. Every actor in the chain should be accountable. Public administrations create procedures and proof for this based upon formal rules, and interpretations thereof. In practice it is not uncommon that there are tensions between the factual application of procedural rules and the their ‘paper base’. The scrutiny process deals with consultation, mediation, arbitration, evaluation and auditing of policies and legislation, its application and outcome. The political and juridical system are major actors in this process. Opposite values and beliefs make the scrutiny process a very sensitive process. There is an additional challenge, since both citizens and administrations face the complication that policies do not exist in isolation. Policies are linked to other policies, thus creating a complex interdependent legislative system which is implemented in and enforced by a complex government. An increasingly complex society requires increasingly complex legislation, leading to more and more complex applications and business processes to execute these laws (Rensen et al, 2010). So, we may conclude that creating public services, that are based upon a constellation of continuous changing and interwoven legislation, is not an easy endeavor. Keeping such public services sustainable is a real challenge. The pace of change of legislation for instance is completely different from the pace of change of processes or IT-systems. The dependency of various autonomous organizations, the lack of standardization in legislation, multilingualism and unpredictability of change are aspects that add to the challenge. Therefore one would expect that legislation and innovative use of legislation is a key element in eGovernment initiatives and that this innovation cover the whole process from policy making, to execution, enforcement and evaluation.
  5. 5. Parallel universe If we take a look at the role of legislation in eGovernment initiatives we observe something interesting. In many initiatives it seems to be almost non-existent or at least less relevant, even if applications are developed that aim to smoothen the use of multi domain or multinational legislation. The same applies to initiatives that aim to increase citizen involvement in the legislative decision making process. It is taken for granted that legislation exists, that it somehow is maintained and updated and that policies can cause a change. The connection between legislative rules and norms and the way they are implemented or used in an application or service remains unclear. The same applies to the change cycle of legislation and its impact on the application or initiative and its sustainability thereof. It would be tempting to argument that e.g. ICT-related programs and projects are aiming to achieve another goal and therefore can be developed independent from the policy and legislation on which their intended services are based. This could apply if the rules were managed separate from the applications. The rules upon which the services are based and the rules of a service itself however, are usually coded in some form in the IT-application. Changing these rules will cause IT-changes. There are indeed initiatives in which the existence of legislation is recognized and addressed. For instance as object of either innovation of a specific process step, like impact analysis (e.g. smart regulation), or it is object of some form of codification3 in order to be used in e.g. a cross border service. Legislation is seldom the subject of an initiative, and if so, then it is mainly in the field of harmonization or providing access to fulfill transparency demands (e.g. Public Sector Information and eParticipation). It almost seems that policies and their expressions in legislation live in a parallel universe of the eGovernment universe. At the same time are many eGovernment initiatives striving to provide solutions for policy intentions and for the effects that are caused by a complex legal system. They do this without looking at the root cause of the (perceived) problems and without making a direct connection between purpose (intended effect) and practice (outcome). This affects the overall ability of governments to execute policies. In a research study on Canadian government policy execution effectiveness (Macmillan & Cain, 2008), public sector leaders were asked to share their views on the ability of governments across Canada to successfully execute major policy agendas based on their unique understanding of how government works. The research indicates that there is declining confidence in the ability of government to execute on major policy initiatives. It is clear that government policy agendas have become exceedingly intricate with the involvement of multiple levels of government and numerous stakeholders. Added to the mix is the fact that governments must address issues of increasing complexity and deal with the rising costs of program failures, all the while public servants are subject to heightened levels of accountability and scrutiny. The biggest disconnect seems to be between those who design policy and those who execute it. According to 61% of Canadian respondents, policies are often designed with little or no input from the people expected to implement them. As the gap between policy design and execution widens, program failures are only set to rise, putting even greater pressure on all levels of government. 3 Codification in this context refers to the process of forming a policy (or legal) code by normalizing and formalizing rules and principles into a structured system.
  6. 6. The survey4 indicates that effective policy execution is a critical component of good government and a major potential contributor to Canada’s overall economic prosperity and quality of life. It also concludes that as governments across Canada and around the world try to overcome those failures, they will need to step outside their traditional comfort zones. To close the gap between design and execution, public sector leaders must foster greater agility to execute. One may wonder whether there are signs of such an approach. We are looking for approaches that enable agility within the complex public administration domain and that empower its execution capability. Approaches that embrace the complexity of legislation in a way that it is possible to build sustainable, interconnected, public services that adhere to the frequent, unpredictable and possible disruptive changes of policies and legislation. The answer to the above question is, Yes. Beneath we briefly describe three examples of innovative public administrations that migrated from a traditional execution approach towards a process and rule driven approach. Examples of agile rule based organizations The first example is the Dutch IND (Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst)5. As the immigration and naturalization service of the Netherlands, the IND implements immigration policy. The agency’s 3,500 employees focus on four major processes: asylum, naturalization, managed migration and court case representation. Immigration law gives the IND decision-making authority on whether to allow a person into the country. To do its job, IND must navigate thousands of process rules and internal order rules, incorporating 50 major changes to the rules annually. At the same time, national legislation and international treaties must be followed. Aside from having to deal with the sheer magnitude of the rules, IND was under pressure to provide better customer service, increase decision-making efficiency and respond more rapidly to policy and legislative changes. In the past it could take nine months to implement legislative changes (McDonald & Aron, 2011). The IND started an ambitious innovation program, called INDIGO, to create the conditions to become an agile, rule and process driven organization. By the INDIGO program IND is now able to shorten the legislative change cycle, if necessary, to only one day. If required, they can release a rule change on the day policymakers decide upon it. This transformation was achieved by placing the rules at the heart of the system6. By separating “the Know from the Flow”, IND was able to store the legal and procedural rules of immigration and naturalization in one part of the solution and the activities in another part. The know includes all rules, laws and regulations. The flow encompasses activities required to process applications, including data entry. The know and the flow are in constant dialogue. Together they support and enable adaptive processes and the dynamic treatment of a case. When applicant data such as age, nationality and date of application are entered, it goes into a dialogue with the knowledge management system, which produces a decision-making plan that outlines the activities to perform, the business services involved and the criteria to meet. There are no exceptions any more. Every case gets its own treatment based upon the context of the requester and the request. By making the rules operable and re-usable it is now possible to generate information, advice and transaction services 4 The survey is conducted by Deloitte over the summer of 2008, with support from the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC), the Association of Professional Executives of the Public Service of Canada (APEX), Canadian Government Executive magazine and the Schulich School of Business. 5 See: 6 See: Simone Dobbelaar of Dutch Immigration Service discusses the INDiGO project.
  7. 7. based upon the same rules. The INDiGO decision-making rules for an application, for example, are the same as those used for enforcement, but in each case, the details specified lead to a different course of action. A change of legislation needs only to be adopted once and will then be applied in all services. The substantial automation of this solution lets staff focus less on process and more on critical decision making. IND has linked the rules directly to the legislation they are derived from. This enables them to assess the impact of a policy or legislative change directly, even before the change is implemented. IND has not only achieved a considerable agility and productivity benefits, it is now also able to share its concepts, norms and rules with other entities in the government chain. Communities for instance, can use the IND knowledgebase and act in compliance with the actual rules while servicing a client at their desk. The INDIGO program has won the Price of the Dutch Architecture Forum for the digital world7. Another example is the realization of a single digital environmental permit service for the Ministry of VROM (Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment) in The Netherlands. Citizens and companies can request permits online from this digital service. Local authorities can then process the requests digitally. The permits concerned are in the areas of building, advertising, driveways, tree-felling, demolition and the Occupancy Decree. The target was to reduce administrative burden and improve the service quality in a setting of 52 different types of licenses, 1600 procedures, and 600 authorities. This is done by standardizing the permit process in a few simple steps and by making the rules actionable in a context sensitive way. Policy changes trigger a change of the rule base and the services that are based upon these rules. The result is reduction of red tape, one single application and process and an operational cost reduction of 96 million in year one. The service is into operation since October 20108. In the first 8 weeks the service handled 32.000 requests for a permit from companies and citizens. A process is put into place to support the maintenance of changes in legislation. Advise Inform Navigatie Classification Index Calculation Search Decision E-Forms  Ask only relevant questions  Pre-fill data  Knowledge Instruments Request Case files  Collaboration  Colanoration Receive Inbox Case list Consider Case Files  Collaboration  Process support  Shared Case Files Operational Decisions  Traceable decisions Documents  View, exchange Commu nicate Decide Assemble artifacts  Re-usable text blocks  Rule based  Archive Figure 2 The Flow : one model to support the entire process ©Be Informed 2011 Another example is The Dutch Central Administration Office9 that is responsible for benefits payments for multiple healthcare acts. It concerns a complex legal environment and value chain. The environment is highly regulated, has a high societal impact and is subject to numerous parliamentary amendments. After being in the public limelight for errors and delays, CAK decided to establish a 7 See: 8 See: 9 See:
  8. 8. case based and rule driven service environment. Now they have a high-performance transaction processing service in place that serves approximately 1,000 users and 20 million transactions per year. The legislative rules and tasks form now the direct basis for their operation. The cost of making changes decreased with at least 50%, the Total Cost of Ownership are significant lower and 98% of the transactions is handled by straight-through processing. The other 2% are manually handled and infused thereafter again in the automatic process. Other organizations like the Dutch Land Registry, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation, the Ministry of Security and Justice and the Dutch Emission Authority have started projects to move in the same direction. Another example is the Manifestgroep, which is a collaborative partnership between major government execution agencies, that want to combine their services for specific interwoven products, based upon life events. Examples are ‘Emigrating to another country’10 or ‘New to Holland’11 in which all relevant legislation of the separate domains is interlinked and presented as one service. The same applies for services like earning an additional income as a student12 or what to do if somebody deceases13. Checklists are presented based upon all permits, grants and rules that apply in the context of the requester. The individual rules are maintained by the individual partners and the overarching semantic mapping and rules collaborative in a shared infrastructure, provided by a services center. Common denominator The common denominator between these initiatives is that public administration organizations went back to the roots of their existence: the rules that define their role and function and the legislation that they have to create, execute or enforce. What they do is making these rules actionable, directly executionable and multi applicable (e.g. across various channels). They do this in a way in which the business itself (the domain experts) can manage and modify the rules, without involvement of the ITdepartment. They are in essence creating a bridge between strategy, tactics and operation. By standardizing the process, separating “the know from the flow” and switching towards flexible and adaptive case management, eGovernment initiatives become not only more productive, efficient and effective. They also become more transparent and compliant, because public administration organizations can now precisely prove which decision is taken, based upon which legislative rule or norm. Last, but certainly not least, do these organizations achieve the level and kind of agility that is required to operate in a complex, continuous changing and high demanding environment. By sharing their rules, concepts and norms they are able to enhance re-use within and across their own organizational boundaries towards all parties and stakeholders in their field of operation. Public administration organizations can even offer services to other participants which can be infused in their services. In this way it is possible to create a composite service structure of plug & play services, in which the root rules are maintained by autonomous organizations. Using the same rules will also help to lessen the pressure on the juridical court system, because all partners in the chain use the same basis and the risk of inconsistency is reduced. 10 See: See: 12 See: 13 See: 11
  9. 9. This type of innovation is an enabler for realizing the ambitious vision contained in the Declaration made at the 5th Ministerial eGovernment Conference (Malmö Declaration, 2009), stating that by 2015 European public administrations will be "recognized for being open, flexible and collaborative in their relations with citizens and businesses. They use eGovernment to increase their efficiency and effectiveness and to constantly improve public services in a way that caters for user's different needs and maximizes public value, thus supporting the transition of Europe to a leading knowledge-based economy." The concept of putting purpose into practice synthesizes the policy making and policy execution process (Geurts, 2011). It also can create a huge amplification effect on the use of legal norms, concepts and rules in all steps of the policy lifecycle, including the establishment of a continuous feedback loop. Figure 3 Amplification effect by re-use of norms, concepts and rules (Geurts, 2011) The afore mentioned initiatives use a model driven approach, in which the model is the application and documentation. This implies that modeled legislation can be directed tested in an application that uses the norms and rules of the legislation. The used technology is also event driven, goal seeking, decision centric and service oriented. This provides a perfect combination for supporting innovation initiatives and closing the gap between policy making and policy execution. Putting purpose into practice seems also be the appropriate, and possible sole, answer to solve the complexity of various national headache dossiers, like for instance the Harz IV dossier in Germany. If we take a closer look at the European eGovernment Action Plan 2011-2015 bearing this potential in mind, we have to conclude that the stated objectives would greatly benefit from an innovation approach that synthesizes policy making and policy execution and makes policies directly executionable. It would for instance enable to create sustainable cross border services that are infused with national legislation of the participating countries, maintained by the participating countries. It would also enhance user empowerment by enabling user involvement in the design and production of services, creating greater transparency and enrich Public Sector Information. Offering
  10. 10. Plug & Play services and repositories of re-usable norms, concept and rules enhances the concept of Open Data and can give a new meaning to the concept of eParticipation. It will be interesting to analyze to which level project proposals will cover such aspects of innovation. Metatrend or Megatrend? In our quest we discovered that closing the gap between policy making and policy execution seems to be underrepresented in eGovernment initiatives. This is not a recent phenomenon or something that specifically applies to Government. In the business world do we see also many innovation efforts in optimizing the core process. Optimization starts after a strategy is formulated and the way to execute the strategy is laid down. To a great extend is the link between purpose (strategy) and practice loosely coupled by using instruments like the Balanced Score Card and strategy maps, or is even non-existent. These instruments focus in fact on performance measurement and not on direct executable policies. A survey by OnPoint Consulting on the strategy-execution gap discovered that almost half of the leaders surveyed—49 percent—did perceive a gap between their organizations' ability to develop and communicate sound strategies and their ability to implement those strategies. Closing the gap between strategy and execution may be the most important thing you can do for the future of your company, according to Richard Lepsinger, president of OnPoint Consulting (Lepsinger, 2006). Both worlds (government and business) based their digitalization and infomatization efforts in the past primarily upon the centuries old document and card catalogue paradigm. This paradigm does not work in knowledge intensive services and activities, as for instance many failed IT-projects of public administration sector proof. At the other hand is it fair to say that the policy and strategy process in the past was perceived as too volatile and unstructured to be supported by an intelligent infrastructure. This paradigm is starting to change too; see e.g. a recent article of Thomas H. Davenport in the McKinsey Quarterly (Davenport, 2011). Davenport argues that: “We live in a world where knowledge-based work is expanding rapidly. So is the application of technology to almost every business process and job. But to date, high-end knowledge workers have largely remained free to use only the technology they personally find useful. It’s time to think about how to make them more productive by imposing a bit more structure. This combination of technology and structure, along with a bit of managerial discretion in applying them to knowledge work, may well produce a revolution in the jobs that cost and matter the most to contemporary organizations.” Also the Foresight 2020 report of the Economist Intelligence Unit stated already in 2006 that improving the productivity of knowledge workers through technology, training and organizational change will be the major boardroom challenge of the next 15 years (Economist Intelligence Unit, 2006). The afore described initiatives in The Netherlands illustrate that bridging the gap between a formulated intention and an operational service is feasible and that the gap can be closed. They have transformed their organization and externalized decisions with business rules, which results in benefits like improved agility, improved alignment and managed risks. It is a fact that the afore mentioned combination of technologies is less than ten years old. Increase in complexity and increase in solution capability went almost hand in hand. This explains the relatively recent state of the previous mentioned initiatives. At the other hand may we assume that administrative,
  11. 11. organizational and cultural reasons were – and still are - also strong drivers for prudence in innovating the core process. The reason that the described organizations started with fundamental innovation at their root base was the fact that they all, in some way or another, reached the limit of the traditional approach. At closer consideration one could state that they were also very intensively subject to societal trends and criticism. This led inevitable to the paradigm shift in how to organize their services and how to serve clients. There is no reason to assume that they are the only in their kind that will be driven the coming years to find a fundamental and yet flexible solution for their complex environment. According to an OECD study (OECD, 2009) governments want to become agile to respond swiftly and dynamically on new political and economic challenges. If they are not able to adapt services to new regulations or circumstances in short time, their agility will be hampered. If they are not able to analyze the impact of legislation before it comes to force, it is possible that the intended policy cannot be executed or only at high and unforeseen costs. If they do not have insight and oversight in the complex interconnected system of legislation, they will not be able to avoid concurrency in regulations and unforeseen outcomes. If they want to be citizen centric, provide one stop shopping and want to be right the first time, they have to focus on the rules and how they are applied in the specific situation of an individual. Therefore one can state that managing and mastering the continuous changing legislative rules and norms and building services based upon these rules, is a major source for agility in eGovernment. Mutatis mutandis is the same also valid for adhering to all principles of Good Governance. Conclusion Therefore we conclude that innovation by putting purpose into practice is definitely a trend. A trend that is evoked by other major societal (mega) trends which put pressure on government and therefore also on eGovernment. A trend that requires an integrated approach of the policy lifecycle from purpose to practice and vice versa. The ‘alternative’ is unacceptable long cycle times, eroded agility, affected governance and compliance, high costs which are multiplied by doing the same in multiple places, evitable administrative burdens and red tape, decreased productivity gains of rare resources and various forms of sub-optimization. The question however is, can we nominate this trend to be a Megatrend? It is definitely a game changer that has a strong impact on services, organizations, culture and use of technology. It also is specific for the Government sector, at least in the sense that legislation starts at the government level and government institutions started first to respond quite drastic to the challenges they face. Exactly opposite to earlier mentioned trends will this innovation in eGovernment affect innovation in other sectors, including the business sector. We see this effect already in The Netherlands where institutions from the finance sector are engaging in applying the same approach to close the gap between policy/strategy and execution. So it has all the qualifications to be a Megatrend. We have found proof and sufficient indications of its interconnectedness with other Megatrends. Innovation by putting purpose into practice is in fact a long wave that has already started and will increase its speed under the pressure of increasing societal demands and decreasing government resources.
  12. 12. This interconnectedness with other trends however poses the question whether innovation by putting purpose into practice is not more a Metatrend than a Megatrend. A Metatrend is a trend that is evoked by the simultaneous occurrence of a number of independent trends, like demographic, economic and technologic trends and that is of a transformational nature. We will bring this not now under discussion and leave it to the readers to contemplate on. We were not looking for the obvious, but in the end we did find the obvious. Present and planned eGovernment initiatives will remain isolated and turn out to be even not sustainable in the long run whiteout a public services approach that is based upon infusing collaborative created policy intelligence. Putting purpose into practice by synthesizing policy making and policy execution yields considerable economic and social benefits, as initiatives in The Netherlands proof. In order to achieve this will public administration organizations inevitable go back to their roots: the policies and the legislation in which they are expressed. Governments will make processes and rules actionable, directly executionable and multi applicable in a sustainable way. This trend is a ‘conditio sine qua non’ for government in becoming agile and responding swiftly and dynamically to new political and economic challenges. Innovation by putting purpose into practice is a Megatrend of a game changing nature with a high transformational impact. References Auberon, H. The Right and Wrong of Compulsion by the State, and Other Essays, ed. Eric Mack (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1978). Davenport, T.H. Rethinking knowledge work: A strategic approach. McKinsey Quaterly, February 2011. Economist Intelligence Unit. Foresight 2020. Economic, industry and corporate trends. Economist Intelligence Unit, 2006, retrieved February 21, 2011 from European Commission. The European eGovernment Action Plan 2011-2015. Harnessing ICT to promote smart, sustainable & innovative Government. Brussels, 15 December 2010, COM(2010) 743, retrieved February 21, 2011 from 2.pdf. Forum. Growth, Talent, and the Three C’s: A Review of Global Business Trends. Forum, 2007, retrieved February 21, 2011 from Geurts, T. Public Policy Making – The 21st Century Perspective. 2011. Lenk, K. Policy Execution in the Age of Telecooperation. 1998. Lepsinger, R. Surveying the Gap: Study Suggests Nearly Half of All Leaders See a Disconnect Between Strategy and Execution, CRMAdvocate, 2006, retrieved February 21, 2011 from McDonald, M.P. & Aron, D. IND: Using innovative architecture to accomplish the mission. Gartner, ID Number: G00210667, 1 February 2011, retrieved February 22 21 from . Macmillan, P. & Cain, T. Closing the gap. Eliminating the disconnect between policy design and execution. Policy Execution Survey. Deloitte, September 2008, retrieved February 21, 2011 from Malmö Declaration. Ministerial Declaration on eGovernment approved unanimously in Malmö, Sweden, on 18 November 2009, retrieved February 21, 2011 from
  13. 13. OECD. Regulatory Policy and Governance Supporting Economic Growth and Serving the Public Interest. 2011, OECD Publishing, Paris, France. OECD. The Financial and Economic Crisis – Impact on E-Government in OECD Countries, 2009, OECD, Paris, France. Rensen, R, Geurts, T & Ebbinge, JW. ICT for Governance and Policy Modelling; Transforming policy skepticism into policy comakership. 2010, retrieved February 21, 2011 from Unescap. What is Good Governance. United Nations Economic and Social commission for Asia and the Pacific. Unescap, 2011 retrieved February 21, 2011 from