Friday, January 09, 2009

How long does it take to adopt new ideas in government?

Often those of us within government, and those on the outside, can form an impression that the process of change, innovation and the adoption of new ideas in government can be very slow.

However sometimes it is worth a reality check - while the world appears to be moving extremely fast, in some ways really it isn't.

A great case in point is this article from Harvard Business publishing, The Greatest Product Demo Ever and What to Learn From It.

It talks about the first presentation of the mouse, hyperlink, hierarchical lists and other concepts that most of us now use regularly - 40 years later.

Most of these ideas, demonstrated by Douglas Engelbart, took at least a generation to become popular. Some, such as the chord keyboard (must faster and easier to use than the QWERY keyboards we use use from the earliest days of typewriters), have never become popular.

So when we look at the speed of internet development compared to the speed most of the world is moving, perhaps organisations aren't moving that slowly.

After all organisations are made up of people and people can be very slow to change.

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