Design Thinking Part 4: Be a Pioneer in Government Design

When we partnered with cBrain’s Greg Godbout on Aquent Federal’s Design Thinking webcast, we asked what advice he’d give to government designers and creative leaders about career strategy. He shares five key elements below.

Be a pioneer.

You’re in the right field … this is the future of government. I used to say when I talked to executives, “barbarians are at the gate”. They’re not barbarians, they’re citizens who are very unhappy with government services. So anyone working to drive government change is a pioneer. And anyone who is a pioneer needs to have a tough skin because you’ll take a lot of shots.

Be accountable.

I found that whenever I walked into a government organization and said “I’m willing to take the blame and I’m willing to do it”, everyone gave me the work. It was incredible. I could get budgets. I could get whatever I needed.

Be unique and distinctive.

I talk with governments all around the world and not one of those governments is saying we need to keep standardizing and making sure people deliver the same way. There are so many people in government following the herd. That’s not a career differentiator.

Understand the importance of the value proposition.

It’s rare that people understand this. If you can help someone understand the value proposition of their role or their service in government, you’ll be incredibly valuable.

Take risk.

It’s not easy to drive change. You must stand up for what you believe in and be willing to risk for it. I say risk … it’s not really risk. To me, risk is continuing with the same habits that keep delivering failures. That, to me, is incredibly risky.

If you’re willing to differentiate yourself, take responsibility, and stand up for what you believe in, you’re going to have an incredibly successful career in government design.

View the full webcast.