In my last blog, I wrote about the need for new institutional entrepreneurial mindsets in government. I am going to explore this theme further over the next few blogs.

The following Skoll World Forum video sets the context for the idea that today’s big challenges lie in the hands of an exciting, interconnected and innovative world.


SKOLL FOUNDATION : Dare to Imagine from DAVID MACKIE on Vimeo.

As the video points out, ideas are being generated and bounced around the world faster than ever before. To stay relevant, government must keep up with the many innovative solutions being produced globally to solve local challenges. Government must also address citizens’ expectations of meaningful participation in planning and decision-making. Achieving these objectives puts even more pressure on the performance of the public service while simultaneously offering incredible opportunities to facilitate far better societal outcomes.

These times of exponential change will lead to an exciting, demanding, and daunting phase for the public service. To succeed, let alone survive, our intrapreneurial spirit will be what unleashes our exceptional, innovative talent. It’s these intrapreneurial ways of working that accelerate change by moving collaboration and collective action to collective impact. Demonstrating this intrapreneurial spirit in action can help redefine the 21st century public servant’s role and provide further insights to fully address the complexities of our times.

Intrapreneurs are gifted at harnessing the human potential within organizations and tapping into the latent innovative problem-solving capacity locked in structures. Driven by a deep sense of
responsibility for the greater good, these institutional actors are able to create promising new opportunities because of an unwavering belief that their organisations can do better, and must achieve better outcomes. It is this art of the possible that drives the intrapreneurial spirit and is what makes these change agents the most valuable assets in government, academia, business and communities today.

Colleen McCormickColleen McCormick is Director of Strategic Issues with the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism, and Skills Training and former Director, Innovative Partnerships where she managed the social innovation file in the Ministry of Social Development. Colleen is also the founder of Social Innovators Network Foundation. Previously, she was a TEDxMileZero organizer and National Chair of the New Professionals for the Institute of Public Administration of Canada. She has an MBA from RRU and a Graduate Diploma in Social Innovation from the University of Waterloo. You can contact her on Twitter @SInnovatorsNet.