Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bureaucracy Kills Innovation: WH Friends, Fight the Process!

Anne Kornblut's article on what the Obama staff is encountering as they arrive to work is a little too kitchy, and misses a critical fundamental problem with our government bureaucracy - it is not designed to keep up with technological innovation.

David Almacy, former Internet Director under Bush laments:
"The White House itself is an institution that transitions regardless of who the president is," he said. "The White House is not starting from scratch. Processes are already in place."
With all due respect to David, it is precisely these processes that must be killed. This type of bureaucracy is in direct conflict with the continued expedience of technological innovation. As the speed with which innovations arise increases, more pressure is placed upon this conflict. Either the innovation will be stifled, or the bureaucracy must fall.

White House staff members must be able to use Facebook, as 80 million constiuents are there. They must be able to use their personal email accounts, as the personal continues to intertwine with the professional. And they must remain mobile and not be tied to desktop PCs.

Allowing this institutional b.s. to bar White House staff from the tools that have become the mainstay of the young urban professional will undoubtedly stifle the innovation and enthusiasm the campaign generated, and reduce the Executive Office of the President to little more than a democratic version of the Bush administration - surely not what the country needs right now...

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