Why the 2015 Mustang Story inspires #ISEDLab…

Aug 10th, 2017

Saw A Faster Horse tonite.

Made me think about design, prototypes, execution, markets & importantly culture.

The 2015 Mustang design encompassed art, engineering, sculpture, visual design, analytics, and many other disciplines embodied in a STEAMED culture.

Not STEM Canada – but STEAMED – adding arts, design and entrepreneurship to the mix. Creating a multidisciplinary & interdisciplinary environment getting rid of silos and creating polymathic Canadians. (Yes, polymathic is a real word. Don’t know why LinkedIn is red-lining it…)

Here’s my take.

Anyone who cares about public sector innovation should watch this documentary.

And replace “Mustang” with “public sector innovation”.

See I get to run the most active, public and dynamic innovation Lab in the Government of Canada.

And we do it on a shoestring budget that seems to shrink every week.

In response, I constantly search for partners driving an Open Government approach, find Government of Canada assets through programs that will help us, and reach out to private sector, non-profits & academia who see the value in what we are trying to do and grow our business to help Canada.

We try to fix problems facing Canadian business and citizens with their governments using design, empathy and co-creation tools & methods.

Our goal is to create minimum viable prototypes (MVPs). Clients can then take these MVPs to test, evaluate and either redesign the prototype through iteration, or scale because it works.

(I digress. And let me correct myself. We used to do this. What we’ve learned is that, even if you get to an MVP in the public sector, implementing the MVP is hard. Clients have told us that their culture, management & processes make it tough to take a prototype and test and evaluate in real life. That means our Lab MVP business model needs to shift. We are now redesigning it to move not just to co-creating an MVP, but helping to drive experimentation, testing & implementation in real life.)

For me, the Mustang story resonates as a metaphor for the story of #ISEDLab.

Innovation anywhere is hard to do, never mind to support.

But the key success factor is resilience — regardless of which sector you reside.

And its success depends on which horse you choose to drive.


vision | voice | visuals mine