Entrepreneurship, Management, and the Public Sector

By Reitano, Vincent | Government Finance Review, April 2018 | Go to article overview

Entrepreneurship, Management, and the Public Sector


Reitano, Vincent, Government Finance Review


Entrepreneurship, Management, and the Public Sector The Lean Startup Eric Riles Crown Business 2011, 336 pages, $28

Public and private organizations can learn lessons from each other by sharing management principles - lean management is a good example. Consider a key point of The Lean Startup by Eric Ries, with its striking relevance to both the public and private sectors: "We have wildly divergent associations with these two words, entrepreneurship and management... It is time to look past these preconceptions."

Entrepreneurship and management should be part of what motivates employees in any public or private organization. Organizations should consider eliminating the perception that the functional role of entrepreneurs and managers are mutually exclusive. The Lean Startup explains that innovation isn't solely the realm of entrepreneurs, and managers aren't limited to bureaucracy.

The public sector can apply Lean principles can to potentially overcome the bureaucratic barriers that governments sometimes face through innovation and experimentation. With constituents increasingly demanding innovation, and public resources becoming increasingly scarce, the Lean principles Ries discusses can provide governments with new solutions. Lean management fosters the development of experiments to make organizations sustainable. For example, as governments begin to shift toward innovative methods of long-term financial planning with forecasts and risk-based fiscal reserves analysis, they can use some of the lean startup principles in Ries' book to guide their efforts.

VISION

In the first part of the book, Ries argues that "entrepreneurs have been trying to fit the square peg of their unique problems into the round hole of general management for decades." As governments face increasingly complex issues, public employees may be inhibited in forming solutions by a form of bureaucratic management that stifles innovation.

To see government employees as empowered entrepreneurs who have the ability to start solving problems, we need a new way to look at them and what they do. "Intrapreneuers" are the people who produce innovation within an organization, according to Ries. The actions of these employees make them entrepreneurs. Within a government, many people could be thought of as intrapreneurs, particularly as they navigate the implementation of policies and programs - which is similar to entrepreneurial management in that it requires charting an entirely new course.

The third chapter of the book tackles learning. "Unfortunately, 'learning' is the oldest excuse in the book for a failure of execution," Ries says. To address this concern, he discusses the Lean idea of validated learning, in which learning occurs in the present and future, rather than after the fact. In terms of government, this shifts the focus from ex-post policy evaluation to constant and ongoing evaluation during program implementation.

In one sense, constant evaluation of programs should validate the next steps rather than waiting months or years after the program is implemented to evaluate it. Of course, there are constraints to the ability to evaluate social programs in government, given unique institutional difference, and the need to capture changes over time. Still, knowledge of this lean principle can be used in advance of developing a program or policy to ensure that learning is constantly occurring at an organizational level.

A final aspect of the Vision section is to experiment, the topic of Chapter 4. After determining the vision of an organization, employees should proceed to develop hypotheses and then test them in terms of product development. In terms of a government, the experimentation phase may include phasing in a new software product or program, and experimenting with different aspects of implementation. The goal is to start experimenting early, and change over time.

The experiment principle may seem challenging to follow in a government, but given the recognition that public employees engage both administration and politics, there is little reason to believe that experimentation in government cannot occur. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Entrepreneurship, Management, and the Public Sector
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.