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Focusing on six words: Helping government do its job better

Hear the DorobekINSIDER Book Club: Little Bets

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Little BetsFor the past several years, I have been hosting something I call the DorobekINSIDER Book Club — it is something like the Oprah Book Club but more wonky. Essentially, we select a book that is tied to my favorite words: It helps the government do its job better. We invite the author… and then we invite a fed — or feds — to talk about how that book impacts how you do your job.

And, in fact, the books we have selected are usually chosen by government people themselves.

I’ve been very lucky — I’ve hosted some great authors and remarkable books… and we’ve had amazon people from the government world join in the discussion. (Previous meetings are in the liner notes below.)

This week, we held the latest ‘meeting’ of the book club — the book is by Peter SimsLittle Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries.

I used to hold the book club discussions on the radio. But now, we get to do them the way book clubs are supposed to be held: In person. I got to lead a discussion at the 2012 Adobe Government Assembly hosted by 1105 Media. And it was a great discussion. We had Peter Sims and we were joined by Dave McClure, the Associate Administrator of GSA’s Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies, who is one of the brightest people I know.

I mentioned earlier, “Little Bets” was recommended by Peter Levin, the chief technology officer at the Department of Veterans Affairs — an agency which has historically been bogged down in projects that were over budget and way beyond the schedule. And Levin has tried to institute “lay-ups” to get some momentum within the agency. Levin and VA CIO Roger Baker have made remarkable progress, by all accounts.

The book club conversation is wide ranging — and we talk about challenges that agencies face.

But we’d love to get your thoughts. We’ve created a page on GovLoop, and I hope you’ll add your thoughts and ideas about the conversation… and I hope you’ll read the book and suggest ideas for how to make little bets work within your agency or organization… what works… and what doesn’t? How do you make ‘little bets’ actually happen?

Meanwhile… the full discussion…

After the break, the liner notes:

 

Some additional items I mention in the discussion:

Previous DorobekINSIDER  Book Club “meetings”:

The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything by Stephen M.R. Covey. Read more and find a link to the book club session here.
Payback: Reaping the Rewards of Innovation by James P. Andrew, Harold L. Sirkin, and John Butman. Read more and hear the book club “meeting” with Andrew and Federal CTO Aneesh Chopra find a link to the book club session here.
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink. Read more and hear the book club “meeting” here.
What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis. Read more and find a link to the book club session here.
Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World by Don Tapscott. Read more and find a link to the book club session here.
Fired Up or Burned Out: How to reignite your team’s passion, creativity, and productivity by Michael Lee Stallard. Read more and hear the book club meeting here.
The New Social Learning: A Guide to Transforming Organizations Through Social Media by Tony Bingham and Marcia  Conner. Read more and hear the book club “meeting.”

Written by cdorobek

February 9, 2012 at 5:49 PM

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