How to Lead a Government Organization Towards Blockchain, In Three Steps



This posting is for those outside of government organizations as well as those who are on the inside, and who desire to be a change agent.  The role of driving change and exerting leadership (as anyone who has tried it can attest) is only for the brave-hearted and thick-skinned.  These courageous individuals often are the first to take-on direct fire from an outside enemy and even “friendly fire” from others who should be assisting them.

We all know that government organizations are often the slowest of entities to adopt change; however, there is good news: citizens across the world are going to demand… and essentially force change as the digital clock keeps ticking.  When one considers that there are almost as many cell phone subscriptions (6.8 billion) as there are people on this earth (seven billion), it is not difficult to imagine a pent-up demand for government services that are more convenient, less expensive, faster and more secure.  Two of the drivers behind this are that machines talking to machines like never before in the history of mankind (e.g., the Internet of Things (IoT)), and the younger generation can and often do adopt these new digital appliances very rapidly.

Blockchain does—in fact, have much to offer.  But this kind of change will take time because blockchain is essentially an infrastructure level system.  This was pointed out by a Jan-Feb. (2017) edition of Harvard Business Review article; Iansiti and Lakhani opine that

“Blockchain is not a “disruptive” technology, which can attack a traditional business model with a lower-cost solution and overtake incumbent firms quickly.  Blockchain is a foundational technology: it has the potential to create new foundations for our economic and social systems.”

Much like it took the national and international telecom network providers four generations of network infrastructure in order to offer fiber-to-the-home and streaming video to the smartphone, it will take time for government entities to swap out the 1980s era software and networks (or pen and ink processes still used in some government agencies) and replace them with a blockchain centric one.

This is especially true for Western nations; it’s not too much of a risk to predict that nations where there were not deep investments made in telecom and networking infrastructure will actually leap frog over the United States and others, by continuing to erect cell towers and be able to adopt blockchain infrastructure very rapidly.

I prefer to keep a balanced view by reminding folks that many who are in the role of forecasting business and society trends, often overestimate what can happen in two years and underestimate what can happen in ten (attributed to Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft).

Thus, the rational posture is to acknowledge the journey and its challenges, while focusing on the desire of citizens to readily adopt almost any change that will improve their quality of life, even in small ways.  This trait is basic to human nature and it is undoubtedly on the side of blockchain.

So, there is no time like the present!  Why not begin now, informing your government officials at the local, state/provincial and federal level, that today is the best time to adopt positive solutions that improve your quality of life?

Let’s Get Started

Step 1 – Find a motivation for yourself that is both inspiring and “others-centric”.

It takes courage to want to help others to affect even a minor change, let alone to wade into unfamiliar waters where sharks, snakes, and other sharp objects may lurk.  However, change is not only necessary, it is imperative to survival—even for government entities!  Nothing of consequence in our world ever remains static, if for no other reason that humans are constantly seeking new experiences, efficiencies and benefits and their expectations getting higher each year.  Therefore, you and I as leaders must adopt an attitude of “I am here to help guide others into the future… and support the inevitable”.    You and I need to find a motivation that is “for the benefits of others, not ourselves”.

In America, we use the term “motherhood and apple pie” to refer to our American way of life and the value system that is now aproximately 200 years old (i.e., family, freedom, prosperity, quality of life, leisure time, etc.).   However, no matter where you live on Earth, there is plenty of motivation to improve the lives of citizens–even at very basic levels.  Let this be your motivation when selling blockchain.  Serving others is ultimately why we get out of bed in the morning.

Part 2 – coming soon.

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