Creating Policy Innovation in the context of Government Bureaucracies? Could ‘Parallel Learning Structures’ be an answer?

Cambridge Policy Lab

by Colin Talbot

Trying to innovate in a bureaucratic organization, which most governmental and public organizations are, is notoriously hard.

But, despite the many forecasts of its imminent demise bureaucracy is still very much alive and kicking – for very good reasons.

Bureaucracy is Good for Us

Bureaucracy gets an almost universal bad press – but it is actually one of the best inventions humans have ever come up with. Bureaucracy is really good at standardized, replicable, large-scale production of goods and services. In many instances – in both the public and private domains – that is just what is needed.

Apple produce a relatively small range of goods and services that they market around the globe. They want an iPhone 7 sold in New Delhi to be essentially the same as one sold in New York – and it is. How do they do that? Through bureaucracy.

The USAs…

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