Matt Erskine, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development and executive adviser at Booz Allen Hamilton, discusses the intersection of innovation and efficiency in government, and the difficult balance between them.
The President’s Management Agenda emphasizes both the need for both government modernization and improved service to citizens. The federal government has been perusing these for years, but striking balance between them is difficult. Matt Erskine, executive advisor at Booz Allen Hamilton, oversaw a restructuring effort at the Department of Commerce, and says that what he learned from the experience could apply to the administration’s goals. “Customer experience; that’s something that I think is an absolute area that needs to be at the top of mind, very much on the radar screen for agency leaders. and it’s an area of opportunity where investment of time and resources will pay dividends. Second is data, performance evaluation, and certainly evidence‑based decision making and policy making… Third is collaborative innovation,” said Erskine. “We’ve got to get the technology leaders within agencies and the programmatic leaders out of their silos and working together. The most successful initiatives I saw [were] when that frank, trusted relationship happened.”