I don't write much about what I do every day because frankly, Gov 2.0/3.0, Civic Innovation and Social Media/Emergency Management spaces is pretty saturated by people doing a great job of telling it like it is…
But over the past month I've had hundred's of conversation with civic minded people about design - about the future of government and civics. Everyone agrees that procurement is a leading cause of lack of innovation in government. And I don't disagree - procurement regulations - many of which are outdated and somewhat ridiculous - are a massive roadblock to innovative civic work. Some days it makes the ideal of lean government, ala Eric Reis’ Lean Startup, laughable. Yet despite this roadblock, I would say the cause of dull outmoded civic development is much deeper than the difficult procurement.
I'd say this - outmoded, stick-in-the-mud behavior isn't about fear of change, though that is a part of it - outmoded behavior is simply a side effect (a rather prickly one) of being unwilling to try something new and possibly experience failure. History shows, innovation does not guarantee success, but it does guarantee that you might fail, perhaps publicly. Sometimes that’s just too much for one to bear. That fear of failure is enough for some people to use outdated procurement regulations, lack of understanding, fear of change or any other justification as a reasonable excuse to forgo anything resembling innovation.