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Can  Government   Work  Like   OpenTable?


Innovation  in  the   Collaborative  Era  
    Frank  DiGiammarino  

Abstract   In  a  world  where  the  private  sector  can  instantly  deliver  customized  results   to  millions  of  customers,  government  struggles  to  be  relevant.    In  fact,  its   "bureausclerosis"  -­‐  the  hardening  of  the  arteries  of  government  -­‐  is  so  severe  that   today,  it  takes  particular  skills  just  to  navigate  the  system.    For  example,  in  Spain,   government  programs,  people  and  processes  have  reached  the  point  that  self-­‐ appointed  "tramitadors"  simply  wait  outside  public  buildings  and  charge  a  fee  for   their  ability  to  cut  through  the  red  tape  and  actually  produce  a  result.   As  a  global  society,  we're  at  a  crossroads.    Government  resources  are   increasingly  diminished,  yet  our  problems  are  more  complex.    If  the  public  sector   wants  to  break  its  bureausclerosis,  it  needs  to  understand  and  embrace  new   models  for  getting  things  done.    Private  sector  companies  like  Kayak,  Hulu,  and   yes,  OpenTable  all  exist  to  sort  through  huge  amounts  of  data  to  achieve  an   individualized  outcome.    This  paper  details  how  governments  can  leverage  the   lessons  from  these  companies  to  create  a  positive  impact  where  people  work,  live   and  raise  their  families.    
              Copyright  ©2012  Frank  DiGiammarino  All  rights  reserved   This  paper  reflects  the  views  of  Frank  DiGiammarino.    You  may  not  modify,  publish,  transmit,  transfer  or   sell,  reproduce,  create  derivative  works  from,  distribute,  perform,  display,  or  in  any  way  exploit  any  of   the  content  contained  in  this  publication,  in  whole  or  in  part.  

"With  the  publishing  of  this  paper,  Frank  DiGiammarino  has  defined  an  original  language-­‐set  in  order  to   capture  what’s  happening  within  organizations  and  to  detail  how  the  government  can  emulate  the   model  for  the  benefit  of  citizens.    Frank  remains  at  the  forefront  of  the  horizontal  thinking  that  will   enable  our  government  to  emerge  with  the  next  generation  of  capabilities  that  all  stakeholders  demand.     Take  the  time  to  read  this  paper  as  it’s  a  front  row  seat  to  the  ongoing  transformation  of  citizen  services   in  an  age  of  data  and  meaning.”         Daniel  Forrester,  Author,  Strategist  and  Founder  of  Thruue  Inc.,  a  consultancy  dedicated  to   creating  high  performance  cultures  via  reflective  thinking   “Outcome  brokers  are  needed  across  government  to  produce  the  services  that  the  public  is  demanding   in  increasingly  greater  numbers.    Only  by  using  carefully  crafted  networks  can  government  meet  these   needs.    Frank  DiGiammarino  has  given  us  a  blueprint  for  a  new  way  of  doing  business.”   Ed  DeSeve,  President,  Global  Public  Leadership  Institute  and  former  Special  Advisor  to  President   Obama   “Frank  is  certainly  one  of  Washington’s  great  visionaries  and  thought  leaders  in  the  governance  and  IT   space.    If  you  want  creative  thinking  about  these  topics,  no  one  is  better  than  Frank  D.”   Terry  Buss,  Executive  Director  and  Distinguished  Professor  of  Public  Policy,  Heinz  College,   Carnegie  Mellon  University,  Australia    "Frank  is  part  of  a  rare  breed  in  Washington,  he  not  only  thinks  big  thoughts,  but  he  achieves  big   results.    Breaking  through  silos  to  create  networked  solutions  can  be  a  tall  order  in  any  organization.     Yet,  Frank  managed  to  do  just  this  across  multiple  federal  agencies.    His  “OpenTable”  prescription  for   achieving  better  results  is  exactly  what  we  need  to  create  new,  positive  outcomes  with  existing   resources.”   John  Fernandez,  Partner  &  Innovation  Strategy  Director,  SNR  Denton,  Former  US  Assistant   Secretary  of  Commerce  for  Economic  Development  and  two-­‐term  Mayor  of  Bloomington,  IN       "Frank’s  insight  causes  us  to  think  about  two  imperatives,  firstly  the  need  to  unlock  the  innovation  and   energy  trapped  in  the  current  workforce  in  the  public  and  private  sectors,  and  secondly  to  create  an   environment  in  which  the  next  workforce  is  willing  to  invest  in  our  home  market"   Lee  Strafford,  Private  Sector  Board  Member,  Sheffield  City  Region  Local  Enterprise  Partnership      

  The  Game  Changer:  Innovation  in  the  Collaborative  Era  
Do  you  remember  how  time  consuming  making  a  restaurant  reservation  was  before   OpenTable?    In  the  “old”  days  –  like  2003  –  I  had  to  go  online,  check  out  the  menu  and  independently   call  each  restaurant  to  see  if  they  had  availability.    Remembering  even  further  back  –  like  1998  –  I  had  to   thumb  through  a  phone  book  and  just  start  calling.    If  I  didn’t  like  a  menu’s  offerings,  I  would  have  to  call   a  different  restaurant;  if  that  one  didn’t  have  space  for  me,  I  made  another  call.    In  the  end,  it  took  a  lot   of  time  to  make  a  reservation.    In  fact,  I  would  habitually  go  to  the  same  place  because  the  routine  was   so  much  easier.       Today,  I  log  on  and  I'm  greeted  by  a  service  that's  easy,  free  and  provides  customized  insights   about  my  dining  options.    What's  more,  OpenTable  has  partnered  with  other  companies  so  that  I  can  get   a  limo  ride  to  the  restaurant  or  have  flowers  waiting  at  my  table  when  I  arrive.    The  company  even  gives   me  points  for  being  a  loyal  customer  –  as  of  this  writing  I  have  over   15,000.    According  to  their  2010  SEC  10K  filing,  over  20,000   restaurants  are  participating  in  OpenTable  and  over  200  million   patrons  have  already  been  seated.       I  have  no  doubt  that  these  numbers  will  only  continue  to   grow  because  OpenTable  is  a   platform  that  has  been  built  to   simplify  the  complex  process  of   making  a  restaurant  reservation.     To  do  this,  it  engages  a  network   of  partners  (i.e.,  restaurants)  to   fulfill  the  needs  of  the   community  (i.e.,  patrons).    By   doing  this  it  has  become  my   restaurant  “Outcome  Broker.”    It   compiles  data  from  thousands  of   otherwise  disconnected  sources   (that  I  call  “silos”)  and  serves  it  to  the  user  for  easy  analysis  and  quick   decision-­‐making.    The  old  way  of  making  restaurant  reservations  was   like  struggling  in  quicksand  as  we  searched  through  each  individual   silo  to  get  results.    OpenTable  is  a  horizontal  agent  in  a  vertical  world,   cutting  across  all  the  stuff  that  made  making  reservations  hard  in   order  to  help  the  user  get  results.    Instead  of  sinking  in  the  quicksand,   I’m  sailing  across  the  surface.          

The  Collaborative  Era  
Silos  are  the  products  of  the  Industrial  Era.    During  this  time,  every  sector  relied  on  information   and  services  in  a  hierarchical  delivery  structure  designed  to  maximum  efficiency  with  the  technologies   available.    For  their  time,  these  silos  ensured  that  leaders  were  as  connected  as  possible  with  the  people   who  were  receiving  their  services.    As  we  innovate  and  as  technology  advances,  though,  we’re  enabling   ourselves  to  use  data  to  connect  each  of  the   world’s  7  billion  people  like  never  before.    As  a   result,  while  our  industrial  models  are  still  working   the  way  they  were  designed  to,  they  can  no  longer   keep  up  with  these  brand  new  connections.    The   silos  that  once  ensured  delivery  are  no  longer   effective  because  they  are  overwhelmed  with  too   much  information  and  too  many  options.     Nonetheless,  they  are  hard  to  break  because  the   people  controlling  them  are  incentivized  by  their   existence  (e.g.,  if  I  can’t  easily  learn  about  other   restaurants,  I’ll  keep  choosing  to  go  to  the  same   one).       Outcome  brokers  aren’t  slowed  down  by   silos.    Instead,  they’re  focused  and  designed  to  solve  problems.    It  turns  out  that  OpenTable  isn’t  the   only  outcome  broker  that  is  making  every  day  processes  more  efficient  and  user  friendly.    From  Kayak  to   Hulu  to  Kiva,  we  are  seeing  new  problem-­‐centric  platforms  change  the  way  we  get  things  done.    Kayak   has  become  my  travel  outcome  broker,  cutting  across  Orbitz,  Expedia,  Travelocity  and  even  airline   websites  to  make  it  easy  to  compare  costs  and  quickly  make  a  decision.    Hulu  has  become  my  television   outcome  broker,  aggregating  shows  in  one  place,  making  it  easy  for  me  to  keep  up  with  my  favorites,  no   matter  the  network.    It  is  simple  to  use,  free  and,  with  my  busy  schedule,  allows  me  to  watch  what  I   want,  when  I  want.    Likewise,  Kiva  is  my  investment  outcome  broker  and  has  revolutionized  how  people   lend  money  around  the  world.    It  is  a  very  simple  platform  that  allows  individuals  to  invest  in  cool  ideas   across  the  globe  that  need  money  to  make  them  go.       Kayak,  Hulu  and  Kiva  are  just  a  few  examples  of  outcome  brokers  that  are  changing  how  we   function  in  our  daily  lives.    There  are  many,  many  others  -­‐  Amazon,  iTunes,  Khan  Academy,  Mint,   Prosper,  Spotify  and  Zillow-­‐  that  are  also  navigating  across  silos  to  get  results.              

Can  Government  Work  Like  OpenTable?  
While  serving  two  and  a  half  years  in  the  White  House,  I  routinely  asked  myself  a  simple   question:  why  doesn’t  government  work  like  OpenTable?    Mention  this  at  a  cocktail  party  and  you  get  a   laugh.    Mention  it  in  a  meeting  and  the  excuses  are  quick  to  surface:  “There  isn’t  executive  support”;   “You  think  we  should  share  our  data?”;  “Security  requirements  restrict  us  from  taking  such  an   approach”;  or,  my  favorite,  “That’s  not  the  way  we  do  things  here.”     Here’s  the  thing:  The  jokes  aren’t  funny  and  the  excuses  are  inexcusable.    Government  is  cash-­‐ strapped  and  under-­‐resourced;  the  public  is  increasingly  frustrated  and  is  literally  protesting  in  the   streets.    We  need  to  change  the  game.    Too  much  is  at  stake  and  the  latent  potential  of  dedicated  public   servants  and  vital  resources  are  wasted,  stuck  in  silos.    With  this  in  mind,  I  set  out  to  identify  a  few   examples  in  the  public  arena  where  outcome  brokers  are  producing  impact-­‐driven  results:   Green  &  Healthy  Homes  Initiative   The  Green  &  Healthy   Homes  Initiative  (GHHI©)   recognizes  that  in  housing,  energy   inefficiency,  outdated  materials   and  health  problems  are  often   related.    For  example,  paint,   allergens  and  drafty  doors  and   windows  are  often  the  cause  of   illness.    What  does  this  mean?   Simply  put,  that  public  health   efforts  can  and  should  coordinate   with  housing  and  energy  efforts.       Previously,  programs   attacked  this  problem  in  an   uncoordinated  way.    One  program  (its  own  silo)  would  assess  a  home  for  health  problems-­‐  like  lead   paint  and  allergens-­‐  while  another  siloed  program  would  perform  a  separate  assessment  for  energy   efficiency  that  targeted  un-­‐insulated  boilers  or  drafty  doors  or  broken  windows.    At  the  same  time,  a   third  program  would  actually  pay  for  the  long-­‐term  (and  often  unending)  health  care  costs  of  a  child   whose  asthma  was  compounded  by  all  those  problems.    It  becomes  clear  that  identifying  the  issues  was   duplicative,  expensive,  inefficient  and  often  ineffective-­‐  and  so  were  the  solutions.    Taxpayer  funds   would  address  individual  symptoms  one  by  one  instead  of  eliminating  them  all  at  once.    It  was  like   getting  the  flu,  but  visiting  different  specialists  for  each  symptom:  the  upset  stomach,  the  fever  and  the   sore  throat.       Rather  than  solving  these  problems  piecemeal,  the  Green  &  Healthy  Homes  Initiative  aims  to   confront  them  in  a  holistic  way—creating  more  efficient  and  healthier  homes,  while  lowering  energy  

and  medical  bills  all  at  once.    Today,  their  pilot  program  is  working  with  local  communities  to  pull   together  the  relevant  information  and  funding  from  DOE,  HUD  and  HHS,  while  concurrently  partnering   with  state  and  local  government,  philanthropy  and  the  private  sector  to  conduct  a  single  assessment  of   low-­‐income  homes.    As  a  result,  they  enable  a  comprehensive,  all-­‐at-­‐once  solution  to  a  family’s   problems.  A  house  can  undergo  lead  paint  abatement,  insulation  installment  and  mold  reduction  in  just   a  few  days  of  work.       So  far,  GHHI  has   completed  "interventions"  in   3,000  homes  with  over  5,000   more  underway.    To  date,  post-­‐ intervention  data  shows  an   average  decrease  of  32%  in  gas   consumption  and  14%  in   electricity  consumption  per   home.    Equally  impressive  is  its   impact  on  government   efficiencies  and  resident  health.     Specifically,  GHHI’s  single,  more-­‐ efficient  home  inspection  and   intervention  saves  more  than   23%  in  upfront  service  costs  while   lowering  the  chance  of  repeated   illness.    In  fact,  evidence  shows  a   67%  drop  in  asthma-­‐related  ER  visits  and  hospitalizations  over  GHHI’s  first  three  years,  saving,  on   average,  about  $48,000  per  year  per  child  in  Medicaid  costs.  Furthermore,  the  average  cost  of  this   integrated  process  is  just  $1,500  to  $2,100.    Conversely,  before  their  homes  were  positively  impacted,   the  same  kids  with  asthma  were  being  hospitalized  an  average  of  twice  per  year  at  a  yearly  expense  of   $16,000  in  medical  costs,  alone.    This  does  not  take  into  account  excessive  school  absences  or  parents’   lost  wages  while  taking  care  of  their  sick  children.    After  a  GHHI  intervention,  though,  no  child  has   needed  to  be  hospitalized  for  an  asthma  attack  and  only  one  is  known  to  have  returned  to  the  ER.1       Recovery  Operations  Center   As  part  of  the  American  Recovery  and  Reinvestment  Act  (Recovery  Act),  Congress  established   the  Recovery  Accountability  and  Transparency  Board  (Recovery  Board).    The  Recovery  Board  set  a  tone   from  the  start  that  they  were  going  to  be  engaged  in  the  details  of  the  Recovery  Act’s  implementation   by  using  technology  and  transparency  to  increase  accountability.    This  effort  yielded  a  war  room  at  the                                                                                                                          

Source: The National Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning. Green and Health Homes Grant Data

Recovery  Board’s  headquarters  called  the  “Recovery  Operations  Center”  (ROC)  -­‐  a  place  for  the  Board  to   identify  potential  risks  related  to  the  dispersal  of  Recovery  Act  funds.       The  ROC  serves  as  an  early  warning  system  that  can  detect  suspicious  patterns  by  analyzing  data   and  identifying  potential  high-­‐risk  recipients.    Much  like  OpenTable,  the  ROC  combines  numerous  data   sources  (silos)  and  powerful  analytical  tools  to  allow  specialists  to  sift  through  and  look  for  fraud,  waste   and  abuse.    When  an  investigative  body  like  the  Recovery  Board  securely  pulls  data  together  from  a   wide  range  of  sources–  criminal,  demographic,  financial  and  geospatial–  they  are  able  to  identify   patterns  that  haven’t  before  been  exposed.    In  addition,  the  ROC’s  analysts  have  diverse  backgrounds  in   economics,  mathematics  and  engineering  to  complement  the  traditionally  trained  investigators  with   whom  they  work.    As  a  result,  when  a  concern  is  identified  using  the  data,  it  is  sent  to  the  appropriate   Inspectors  General,  who  engage  their  respective  agencies  to  prevent  fraud.    Accordingly,  the  ROC  has   become  the  government’s  investigation  outcome  broker.       The  ROC  has  been  effective  in  cutting  across  independent  silos  of  information  and  pulling   together  data  that  drives  results.    In  one  case,  a  recipient  of  funding  appeared  to  be  an  upstanding   business.    By  integrating  data  sets,  though,  Recovery  Board  analysts  discovered  that  all  of  the  business’   partners  had  a  criminal  history  and  thus  posed  a  greater  degree  of  risk.    In  another  case,  several   individuals  who  used  credentials  from  elderly  doctors  in  other  states  to  file  Medicare  claims  were   flagged  as  suspicious  because  the  fake  doctors  all  shared  one  storefront  office  and  had  no  fax  numbers   or  patient  reviews.    In  yet  another  case,  the  ROC  was  able  to  use  digital  maps  to  show  that  the  addresses   given  by  an  Indiana  businessman  for  his  14  firms  were  really  just  a  parking  lot  that  housed  a  dozen   tractor-­‐trailers.2   Without  the  ROC’s  collaborative  approach,  each  investigative  agency  would  only  have  access  to   its  own  information.    If  a  threat  doesn’t  exist  within  their  limited  datasets,  a  flag  is  never  raised.    As  the   investigation  outcome  broker,  the  ROC’s  process  is  changing  the  paradigm  by  shifting  the  focus  from   simply  detecting  fraud  to  actually  preventing  it.       The  Entrepreneur-­‐In-­‐Residence   Todd  Parks’  official  title  is  Chief  Technology  Officer  of  the  United  States  (CTO).    He  also  held  the   title  of  CTO  when  he  was  at  the  Department  of  Health  and  Human  Services  (HHS).  However,  he  was   more  commonly  referred  to  as  the  Entrepreneur-­‐in-­‐Residence  because  he  and  his  team  drove   innovation  to  achieve  remarkable  results.    They  did  this  by  serving  as  an  outcome  broker  for  health.       The  most  obvious  example  of  their  work  is    This  site  is  a  comprehensive   inventory  of  private  and  public  insurance  plans  that  gives  users  the  ability  to  compare  the  quality  of  care   provided  by  a  vast  range  of  facilities  (e.g.,  hospitals,  nursing  homes,  and  dialysis  facilities).    If  you  need                                                                                                                          

Shalal-Esa, Andrea. ”Software Helps Government Track Recovery Funds.” Huffington Post. Reuters, 16 Nov. 2011. Web. <>

health  insurance,  you  simply  answer  a  series  of  quick  questions  about  your  current  needs  and  are  then   presented  with  a  personalized  range  of  choices.    When  I  did  this  myself,  the  site  produced  80  unique   plans  for  me  to  review.    It  even  allowed  me  to  filter  those  plans  based  on  out-­‐of-­‐pocket  costs,   deductibles  and  base  rates.    Very  quickly,  and  much  like  OpenTable,  I  was  presented  with  details  on  a  list   of  options,  was  able  to  compare  them  and  was  assisted  in  finalizing  my  choice.       Amazingly,  it  only  took  90  days  from  the  passage  of  the  Patient  Protection  and  Affordable  Care   Act  for  Todd  and  his  team  to  design  and  build  their  website.    To  be  clear,  this  wasn’t  previously  in  the   works-­‐  they  started  from  scratch.       Not  content  to  rest  on  their  laurels,  the  HHS  team  has  continued  to  improve  the  site  based  on   feedback  from  users.    In  addition,  they  also  launched    As  its  name  indicates,  this  site   holds  data  gathered  from  all  of  its  agencies  (e.g.,  CMS,  NIH,  CDC,  FDA,  etc.)  about  clinical  care  providers,   consumer  products,  medical  and  scientific  knowledge  and  health-­‐related  government  spending.     Moreover,  the  HHS  team  is  constantly  combing  through  their  databases  to  increase  the  amount  of   information  they  have  available.       They  knew,  however,  (to  draw  upon  a  movie  analogy)  that  they  didn’t  have  a  Field  of  Dreams  -­‐   just  because  they  built  it  didn’t  mean  people  would  come.    It  was  clear  that  over  95%  of  the  world  had   no  idea  what  data  they  had.    As  a  result,  Todd  and  his  team  talked  to  the  potential  users  of  the  data,   both  internally  and  externally,  to  understand  what  it  could  actually  be  used  to  achieve.    The  team  then   pulled  together  health  care  professionals  and  high  tech  innovators  to  identify  the  different  applications   that  could  be  built  to  utilize  the  data  that  had  been  collected.    These  groups  were  then  challenged  to   actually  build  these  applications  in  90  days.    The  50  best  and  most  useful  applications  were  highlighted   at  a  forum  called  “Health  Datapalooza.”  From  Lose  It!,  a  weight-­‐loss  tracker,  to  the  Tylenol  PM  Sleep   Tracker,  which  enables  users  to  monitor  their  moods  and  the  amount  of  sleep  they  get,  Todd  Parks  and   his  team  created  a  culture  of  outcome  brokering,  while  enabling  independent  companies  to  do  the   same.          

What  does  this  mean?  Where’s  the  point?  
When  the  economy  was  frozen  in  2009,  the  government  used  the  American  Recovery  and   Reinvestment  Act  to  drive  billions  of  dollars  through  already-­‐existing  programs  and  processes.    Having   visited  cities  across  the  country  and  having  seen  the  investments  that  were  made  with  these  Recovery   Act  dollars,  it’s  obvious  that  dedicated  Public  Administrators  were  doing  their  jobs  well.    Still,  they  were   confined  to  the  structures  in  place  and  the  processes  they  knew.    Often  times,  the  full  potential  of   government’s  people  and  data  stayed  locked  up  in  silos,  restricting  their  ability  to  deliver  for  the  public.     While  the  examples  in  this  paper  illustrate  both  the  private  sector  and  government’s  ability  to  change,   there  is  that  a  lot  more  that  needs  to  be  done.       Of  note  is  a  new  role  for  government.    Using  the  Industrial  Era  model,  government  is   comfortable  when  it  has  a  specific  process  to  follow.    Furthermore,  each  portion  of  government  is  good   at  running  its  own  process  and  focusing  on  the  piece  of  the  problem  that  it  is  supposed  to  solve.    While   these  processes  and  structures  allow  dedicated  government  employees  to  complete  their  jobs,  one  has   to  ask  if  perhaps  they  are  hitting  the  target  and  missing  the  point.       For  example,  an  industrial  measure  of  effective  policing  is  arrests  made.    More  arrests  make  us   feel  like  we’re  capturing  the  bad  guys  and  getting  them  off  the  streets.    Ask  a  seasoned  cop,  however,   and  they  will  likely  tell  you  that  they  can’t  arrest  their  way  out  of  a  city’s  problems.    Often  times,  the   people  who  have  been  arrested  return  quickly  to  their  old  neighborhoods  and  continue  their  old  habits.     Even  worse,  their  kids  follow  in  their  footsteps.    Allowing  this  to  continue  is  like  hitting  the  target  and   missing  the  point  at  the  same  time   Instead,  then,  of  asking  how  many  arrests  they’ve  made,  some  police  departments  are  asking   how  can  they  improve  the  lives  of  the  people  in  their  community  while  decreasing  crime,  murders  and   the  number  of  people  going  back  to  prison.    When  they  do  this,  they  are  forced  to  look  at  the  factors   that  impact  people,  such  as  health,  basic  skills,  education,  housing  and  finances.    Preventing  an   individual  from  even  considering  crime  depends  on  how  these  factors  are  addressed.    Therefore,  these   departments  are  establishing  a  new  police  mentality  that  makes  sure  that  people  are  getting  the   services  they  need  to  improve  their  individual  situations  and  the  overall  productivity  of  the  community.     With  this  lens,  police  are  asking,  “How  is  your  community  better  by  having  the  police  in  it?“      

Public  Sector  Problem  Solving    
In  the  examples  in  this  paper,  the  outcome  broker  ensures  a  salient  and  transformative  result  by   convening  robust  networks  of  participants,  requirements,  data  and  action.    In  doing  so,  they  illustrate   the  private  and  public  sectors’  ability  to  bring  about  a  new  reality.    To  continue  the  OpenTable  analogy,   the  more  people  participating  in  the  network-­‐  from  restaurants  providing  menus  and  reservation   information  to  patrons  rating  and  reviewing  their  experience-­‐  the  better  the  results.    Even  further,  these   results  will  continue  to  be  powerful  as  long  as  the  engaged  community  grows  and  continues  to  receive  a   defined  value  for  participating.    To  put  it  another  way,  an  outcome  broker  achieves  a  positive  impact  by   eliminating  the  need  to  navigate  silos,  by  sharing  knowledge  and  ultimately,  by  enabling  collaboration.       Like  GHHI,  to  effectively  solve  problems,  we  must  draw  upon  multiple  inputs  and  combine   disciplines  and  expertise.    Using  this  frame,  government  should  see  that  it  is  not  always  best  suited  to  be   an  outcome  broker.    Instead,  before  anything  else,  it  must  focus  on  fostering  an  environment  conducive   to  problem  solving,  itself.    This  is  a  two-­‐step  process.    First,  it  must  assess  whether  it  is  having  a  positive   effect  on  its  community:    "Are  there  fewer  kids  going  to  the  ER  for  asthmatic  conditions?"  rather  than   "How  many  lead  paint  abatement  inspections  were  completed?"  "How  many  people  are  going  to  the   library  computer  center,  getting  trained,  working  on  resumes  and  getting  jobs?"  rather  than  "How  many   people  logged  onto  library  computers  in  September?"  "What  types  of  skills  do  local  businesses  need  and   are  we  educating  people  with  those  skills?"  rather  than  "What's  the  graduation  rate?"  In  changing  the   question,  government  can  identify  the  problems  that  actually  need  to  be  solved.       Second,  like  HHS,  government  has  to  recognize  that  its  data  is  a  national  asset  and  must  learn   the  value  of  pushing  that  asset  out  to  the  public.    In  doing  so,  government  can  give  outcome  brokers   unprecedented  access  to  information  about  the  problems  that  need  to  be  solved.       Both  of  these  steps  reflect  the  Collaborative  Era’s  prioritization  of  impact  on  individuals,   families,  communities  and  businesses  over  the  processes  involved.    Moreover,  they  represent  a   significant  shift  away  from  the  Industrial  Era’s  focus  on  control.    Specifically,  the  old  paradigm  promoted   the  belief  that  an  effective  process  was  one  that  the  government  could  control  from  start  to  finish.     Instead,  the  new  paradigm  suggests  that  by  releasing  control,  more  positive  impact  can  be  driven   simultaneously.       It’s  important  to  note  that  while  Outcome  Brokers  in  the  private  sector  can  focus  almost   exclusively  on  working  with  their  partners  and  communities  to  drive  impact,  the  public  sector  has   additional  variables  to  consider.    Specifically,  partners  such  as  non-­‐governmental  organizations  (NGOs)   and  philanthropy,  as  well  as  the  agendas,  interests  and  desires  of  local  and  national  leaders  must  be   taken  into  account.    If  government  can  convene  and  enable  tailored  solutions  to  specific  problems,   these  other  entities  will  be  able  to  further  invest  their  own  resources  to  help.       In  addition  to  treating  data  like  a  national  asset,  leaders  also  need  to  understand  how  to  use   technology  like  a  commodity.    In  the  same  way  that  information  should  no  longer  be  the  shrouded  part   of  an  organization,  information  technology  should  no  longer  be  its  rigid  and  inaccessible  infrastructure.    

Instead,  leaders  should  understand  that  information  is  the  ubiquitous  energy  that  powers  the   Collaborative  Era  and  that  information  technology  enables  an  organization  to  flexibly  navigate  through   it.    To  this  end,  the  emergence  of  the  cloud  –  a  commodity  which  allows  companies  to  remotely  satisfy   their  hardware,  software,  and  data  storage  needs  –  gives  leaders  a  big  opportunity  to  drive  down  costs   and  further  enable  innovation  through  the  inclusion  of  a  virtually  unlimited  number  of  off-­‐site   collaborators.          

A  New  Game  Plan  
Budget  cuts  are  forcing  governments  and  educational  institutions  to  fundamentally  change  the   way  they  function.    As  a  result,  the  public  sector  is  searching  for  new  ways  to  deliver  services,  create   jobs  and  foster  economic  growth.    All  of  these  outcomes  can  be  achieved  by  leaving  the  Industrial  Era   behind  and  quickly  adopting  the  impact-­‐ driving  power  of  the  Collaborative  Era.    In   doing  so,  leaders  at  every  level  of   government-­‐  city,  state  or  national-­‐   position  themselves  to  unlock  the  full   potential  of  their  organizations  and  to   make  a  positive  difference  in  the  lives  of   the  people  they  serve.    By  pairing  their   problems  with  data,  technology  and   innovative  problem  solvers,  these  leaders   can  set  the  new  standard  for  public  sector   effectiveness.       Just  like  any  football  team,  if   government  only  relies  on  the  plays  that   got  it  to  halftime,  it  won't  be  able  to  keep  up.    If  it  adapts  to  its  opponent  and  shifts  its  strategy,  though,   it  can  utilize  all  of  the  assets  at  its  disposal  and  define  its  success.       Likewise,  if  we  are  to  “win”  in  an  increasingly  interconnected,  yet  competitive  world,  we  must   recognize  that  our  original  game  plan  isn't  enough.    We  can’t  remain  overinvested  in  our  current   processes  if  they  can't  deliver  the  results  we  want.    The  game  changer  is  embracing  the  innovation  that   occurs  at  the  intersection  of  the  white  space  between  silos.    Outcome  brokers  in  both  the  public  and   private  sectors  understand  this  and  are  using  technology  to  create  new  impact.    Leaders  can  change  the   way  the  world  solves  problems,  but  to  do  so,  they  must  aggressively  face  our  biggest  challenges  and  pull   the  data,  technology  and  people  together  to  solve  them.       Every  time  an  outcome  broker  creates  positive  and  far-­‐reaching  impact,  it  represents  significant   progress  away  from  the  old  way  of  getting  things  done.    Every  time  this  impact  makes  a  long-­‐lasting   impression  on  someone’s  life,  it  symbolizes  a  “win”  against  inefficiency  and  slow-­‐moving  change.    Every   time  I  hear  about  government  changing  lives  with  this  impact-­‐driven  change,  I  know  that  I  want  to   celebrate  with  my  wife  at  the  restaurant  we  book  on  OpenTable!     Acknowledgements:   Hersh  Fernandes  contributed  to  the  development  of  this  paper.