How Can Government Succeed Amid Relentless Change?

The Minimum Viable Government

Brexit – shorthand for the UK’s exit from the EU – loudly asks:  How can we build better government to respond to OUR own needs?  Given the shock waves from the referendum, it also asks:  Must change be so difficult?  How can governments, not normally known for being nimble and responsive to change, structure and adapt for the better in the age of relentless change?

How Can Government Succeed Amid Relentless Change? The Minimum Viable Government - Mike Russell

I believe the answers are in Minimum Viable Government (MVG).  A MVG is the government equivalent of a Minimum Viable Business.  It implements the “Wrong Until Right” mindset appropriately for its mission.

What might a Minimum Viable Government look like?

A MVG is not about “good” or “bad” government.  If we start with “good” or “bad,” we only end up with endless arguments and get nowhere.

The place to start … and the question to answer, is:  what results do we want from government?  Much of the “good” versus “bad” arguments are really about differences in results, disguised by judgments and hyperbole.

Desired results influence what functions – the actual work – that government should perform.  Functions in turn influence form – how government is organized and operated.  Form ultimately determines effectiveness and efficiency of function and in turn, results.

Form also determines adaptability, the critical factor for success in the age of relentless change.

So why the term “Minimum Viable Government” or MVG?

“Viable” means able to achieve the intended results.  “Minimum” means just enough to achieve results.  The “Minimum” part is not a political statement.  Less is more in the case of adaptability as the less that needs changing, the faster the adaptation.

This year, I have been adapting the “Wrong Until Right” concept for government and defining a framework for MVGs.

There will be more to come … if you haven’t already signed up for updates, do so now to get timely notice of when more MVG material will be ready.


By Mike Russell