November 6, 2012
"Most organizations are afraid to show unfinished work. But the real fear should come from making policies and spending money on programs that have been developed in a vacuum with no user feedback. That’s why prototyping speeds innovation, leads to better solutions, and saves money."

As Americans head to the polls on Election Day, Parade runs Attention, Mr. President: No Politics, Just Our Solutions, a piece featuring ideas for the next President from a host of smarties, including the former U.S. comptroller general David M. Walker discussing the fiscal cliff, Geoffrey Canada of Harlem Children’s Zone on education and Sarah Stein Greenberg, managing director at Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (and a Monitor alum) describing some tools for Fostering Innovation. Whoever wins today (and god knows I have my preference), these are smart ideas to heed. I love this, from Sarah: 

Each federal agency that reports to the President should pick one thorny problem to tackle. Each week they try a solution and by Friday they owe the President a report on the results: What failed, what was learned, and what’s next.

This should not seem like a crazily impractical idea. This is how innovation actually works. Come on, Mr President. Make it so.

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