There is no debating the digital future is here—and it’s impacting government. Citizens want public services 24/7, mobile, anticipatory, personalized, and simple—just like they get from other service organizations. In fact, research by Accenture shows that nearly three quarters (73 percent) of U.S. citizens hold government to “the same or higher” standard as their commercial providers.1 In other words, they want their government to be as smart as their smartphone. They want their government in their pocket. They demand a government that is ready and available when they are.
The central challenge for public sector leaders is this: Design government organizations for this new digital world or lose public support and legitimacy.
We have redesigned governments before in the face of such massive change. The last great redesign came at the beginning of the 20th century when we needed to address corruption and to scale services as the nation and economy grew. We needed a design that focused on accountability, transparency, equity, and fairness—and we successfully created it. Yet in today’s digital world, we also need the agility, speed, and flexibility that citizens demand.
Chief financial officers (CFOs) are facing an era of disruption: a time when forces and factors such as macro-economic shifts, global regulatory flux, digital tools and e-currencies, data and analytics, behavioral economics, and an information-savvy customer base will drive a surge of new service demands and upend outdated corporate financial models. While disruption will bring formidable challenges for finance leaders, it will also create an unprecedented opportunity to not only ensure new levels of compliance but also drive growth and enterprise value.
To help current and next generation CFOs meet the demands of this new era, the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard, Accenture Strategy, and Leadership for a Networked World convened The 2016 CFO of the Future Summit: Creating Value in a Digital Age, held from May 18 – 20, 2016, at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
For public safety leaders around the world, one thing is clear: while the basic mandate of maintaining law and order remains the same, the environment in which this mandate must be delivered is changing dynamically. Fueling this turbulent environment are powerful changes in public sentiment, demographics and social issues, pervasive and invasive technologies, and complex threats to community safety.
What’s imperative now is that public safety leaders gain an understanding of how to create newfound capacity for the future, outcomes and value that communities want, and the legitimacy that society demands.
To help public safety leaders address these questions and develop a vision for the future of public safety, Leadership for a Networked World and the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard, in collaboration with Accenture, convened The 2015 Public Safety Summit: Leadership for a New Era at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Imagine how the federal government would operate—and what it could accomplish—if it were equipped to thrive in the 21st century. It would draw on predictive power, agile operations, and on-demand services to respond swiftly to citizen needs. It would leverage seamless shared services and robust data and analytics to deliver the outcomes they demand. And it would possess a dynamic culture that embraces technology, innovation, and continuous improvement to help the country respond to new challenges and opportunities. In short, a more modern and innovative federal government would be in a position to help the United States continue to flourish in an ever-changing world.
To help federal leaders work toward this vision, Leadership for a Networked World and the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard, in collaboration with Booz Allen Hamilton, convened senior-most leaders for The 2016 Federal Leadership Summit: Harmonizing Data, Shared Services, and Culture. Held at the American Institute of Architects in Washington, D.C. on March 3 – 4, 2016, the Summit provided an unparalleled opportunity to learn from and work with federal peers, Harvard faculty and researchers, and select industry experts on methods for adapting organizational culture to a new era of data-intensive government.
Federal agency leaders are innovating at an unprecedented pace. Strategies such as shared services, advanced analytics, cloud-based computing, and digital services have increased efficiency and effectiveness. And yet, when we considerthe largely untapped potential of shared services, new opportunities for digital transformation, and fulfillment of the President’s Management Agenda—especially per the DATA Act—it becomes clear that agency leaders must mobilize for the future of such capacity-building models and initiatives.
Government leaders are developing bold strategies to increase public value. Yet with citizen trust in government waning, the public sector needs more than new visions; leaders need to drive structural change by identifying high-yield strategies, bracing stakeholders and workers to endure an evolving and unpredictable operating environment, and gauging how much structural change is necessary to sustain progress.
The question of how to achieve the potential of new ideas and business models is critically important in human services, given the powerful emergence of innovations such as Pay-for-Success and Social Impact nancing, collective impact strategies, executive functioning science, evidence-based service design, two-generation interventions, and many more capacity-building and outcome-driving ideas.
To help human services leaders acquire these skills and strategies, the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard, Leadership for a Networked World and Accenture, in collaboration with the American Public Human Services Association, convened senior leaders for the 2015 Human Services Summit: Emergent Leadership – Turning Ideas into Outcomes.
To move forward, human services leaders must examine and appreciate how the dynamics of convergence will play out now and in the future. Based on insights from previous summits and research, we can forecast greater alignment and new partnerships between health and human services, education, workforce, and public safety to create pathways to community well-being.
To help leaders examine convergence dynamics and build capacity for the future, the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard, Leadership for a Networked World, and Accenture, in collaboration with the American Public Human Services Association, hosted The 2014 Human Services Summit: The Dynamics of Convergence. This fifth annual Summit brought together the world’s foremost human services practitioners, industry experts, and Harvard faculty and researchers to explore these topics.
Leaders in the public sector have worked hard to respond to the major structural and social challenges of this new era. Facing technological, societal, and political disruptions, they have developed new operating models such as shared services, lean business processes, and cross-jurisdiction collaboration that have made great headway in driving government efficiency.
Yet more ideas and strategies are needed. Changes in the economy, demographics, technology, legislation, and more are forcing leaders to be more creative and collaborative, and to adapt and innovate. They must not only to do more with less, but also build public trust and value.
To address these questions and create an agenda for change, Leadership for a Networked World, the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard, and Accenture convened public sector leaders for The 2014 Public Sector for the Future Summit: Creating the Agenda. This first annual Summit, held at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., brought together top practitioners, industry luminaries, and Harvard faculty, fellows, and researchers to explore these topics.
Leadership for a Networked World’s applied research, student innovation challenge, and on-campus summit programs are an initiative of Dr. Antonio M. Oftelie, Innovation Fellow at the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard (TECH), part of the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. TECH is a hub for students, faculty, alumni, and government and industry leaders to learn together, collaborate, and innovate. LNW accelerates these efforts by connecting leaders across sectors and developing cutting-edge thought leadership on innovation and organizational transformation.