Continuous improvement is great, but shouldn’t we innovate?

Do more with less. We’ve all heard it, and it’s great to create lean services during austerity. However, there’s a limit to lean, and a point where we need to try new things and do things differently. Chris Dorobek of the DorobekINSIDER spoke with Ron Ashkenas, Managing Partner at Schaffer Consulting, author of Simply Effective and co-author of The GE Work-Out and The Boundaryless Organization about innovation. A difficulty of government is that it rarely allows the room and time for innovation. Companies like Google, Intuit, and 3M give a certain percentage of time to employees to think of new ideas; but this is outside the norm. Constantly trying to do more with less is leaving no room for creativity in government. Though there are definitely some services where it’s important to keep improving efficiency, we also need to be looking at different ways of doing things. The continuous improvement movement can discourage outside of the box thinking. :27 - 3:11 When continuous improvement becomes an integral part of a company’s culture, it can lead to stagnation because of endless reviews. Continuous improvement is important, but so is innovation and giving good ideas consideration, even if all of the data isn’t there yet. At a time when resources are constrained, “dreaming” isn’t usually condoned – this is something that needs reconsideration. 6:13 - 7:34 To listen to Ron’s full interview you can catch the full radio show at GovLoop Insights or you can subscribe to our itunes channel.
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