Innovation in Government






Rebels at WorkRebels at Work: A Handbook for Leading Change from Within

By Lois Kelly and Carmen Medina

Rebels at Work is the perfect handbook for change agents in government. The authors focus on helping "good" rebels, i.e. those who take positive, creative approaches to making their organization better and stronger (as opposed to "bad" rebels, who complain and break rules). The book is loaded with great tips to help rebels learn to sell their ideas, understand the perspectives of their bosses and peers, and find allies. Includes a terrifics chapter with tips on how to manage rebels effectively (for the benefit of the organization, of course). If you have a lot of ideas for making your agency better, this book is absolutely indispensable. Read More About the Book... Also check out the authors' excellent Rebels at Work blog.

On My WatchOn My Watch: Leadership, Innovation, & Personal Resilience

By Martha Johnson

Martha Johnson served as Administrator of the General Services Administration from 2010 to 2012 and resigned to quiet the policial firestorm that developed after an Inspector General report detailed high costs and poor decisions made by the organizers of a 2010 training conference in Las Vegas. Johnson focuses most of this insightful and very readable book on the challenges of creating an innovative culture in a large government organization. Includes tips on getting people to think about old problems in new ways and a fascinating model to help senior leaders maintain an appropriate sense of scale. She argues that engaging the creativity of employees at the front lines can help bring about organizational transformation and that the leader should think about how to unleash those forces while keeping their own focus on the horizon, or larger goals of the organization.  This is a wonderful addition to the literature on what it really takes to lead a large organization in the government context. Read an excerpt of the book or Martha Johnson's leadership blog Read More...

Where Good Ideas Come FromWhere Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation

By Steven Johnson

Steven Johnson provides a fascinating analysis of some of history's more important innovations and the conditions that enabled them to happen. Discusses how ideas build on each other over time, the importance of facilitating the collision of diverse sets of ideas and information, and the kinds of conditions/environments that make such collisions possible. Exceptionally useful model for thinking about how to create an innovative culture. Read More...

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Hailed by some as one of the most influential works in American history, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin is packed with wisdom from America‚Äôs original change agent, social innovator, and self-made man. Written in language that still sounds surprisingly contemporary today, Franklin (1706-1790) outlines key events in his life up until around the time he left his printing business for a life of public service. Includes many useful tips about how to influence others and bring about positive change without appearing to be a self-promoter.  Read More....