Manor, TX, Chief Information Officer Dustin Haisler has joined idea crowd-sourcing start-up Spigit as Director of Government Innovation. Here’s a few questions we had for him when he broke the news to us.
You’ve had a fantastic year with many accolades for your work in the public sector. Why throw it all away and go work for the private sector?
I don’t consider going to private-sector as throwing away what has been accomplished; rather, this is a way for me to build on top of that. While in Manor, I discovered that there were more agencies that needed help then we could support. In joining Spigit, I can now focus on helping these agencies innovate on a full-time basis.
What will you focus on at Spigit?
My focus is going to be helping other agencies work through their organizational challenges using open innovation as a model. There is a science to what was done in the City of Manor, and it is my mission to help enable other local, state and federal agencies to do the same.
From your experience in Manor, what advice do you have for local government?
I would like others to know that there is nothing ‘magical’ about what was done in Manor, and it’s actually more scientific than you might think. Manor’s model for government innovation can and should be replicated by other agencies. In addition, I know that there are significant cultural and organizational roadblocks that we must overcome, but the fact is- they CAN be overcome. There are two main components that enabled us to innovate on the scale that we did in Manor.
1. Open Leadership: Our City Manager, Phil Tate, was an open leadership visionary that realized the value achieved by allowing employees and citizens to weigh-in on the direction of the city. This form of management is still very much in its infancy, but by having a progressive and visionary executive sponsor, we were able to tap our ‘civic surplus.’
2. Proving Business Value: If we couldn’t explain how the project would make the system more efficient or cost-effective it was scrapped. I think a great way to do this is draw out the existing system on a whiteboard, then draw how the new system makes the process better. Sometimes simple things like this make the big picture easier to understand for those on the fence.
Dustin Haisler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (512) 961-6630.