Build it to outlast your senior management cadre

Friday, October 14, 2016

by Nick Charney RSS / cpsrenewalFacebook / cpsrenewalLinkedIn / Nick Charneytwitter / nickcharneygovloop / nickcharneyGoogle+ / nickcharney

Yesterday I presented at the Community of Federal Regulators annual event. After my presentation I was asked how my team was able to stand up so many innovative projects.

My response was fairly straightforward: we have a strong Assistant Deputy Minister who believes in the work and protects our time and space.

And with one caveat: the most prominent threat to our work is the departure of that particular individual and so everything we build is built to outlast him. Our projects need to connect to the stickiest parts of the fabric of the enterprise, not the most endearing qualities of our leader because the former will almost always outlast the latter.

It's a simple lesson on innovation, scale, and permanence: regardless of what you are building, built it to outlast your senior management cadre.

Related and suggested reading: Scheming Virtuously: A Handbook for Public Servants)