It has been said that technology moves at 1,000 kph, private comanies at 100 kph and public administrations at 10 kph.
The myth that innovation is only for the private sector persists in many people’s minds. They forget who put man on the moon, invented the internet, designed some of the world’s finest health systems and who are still funding some of the world’s most ground-breaking research.
Transformation in the way governments work does not have to be slow, but here are some reasons why it may be so:
1. Archaic dogma. Public administrations were created to give a sense of continuity and they have grown as the role of the state has grown. In the minds of their creators, they were not supposed to change even as governments may change. This myth is still strong in many people’s minds.
2. Archaic legal frameworks. Sometimes the establishment and existence of public bodies are embedded in national constitutions which are legally horrendously difficult to modify.
3. Archaic structures. They are often bureaucracies run by silos within silos, which was fine, until the last century.