Rethink...don't reinvent

Posted by J Matthew Buchanan at May 2, 2006 09:52 AM

Yesterday I had a chance to reminisce with an old college buddy.  We've both become very interested in policy issues since leaving school, so we talked a bit about a few public policy and management classes we took together.

He asked about "that book."  "Remember that book they made us read...?  What was it?  Everyone was reading it and the professors talked about it like it was the Constitution or something."

Of course I remember it.  I actually have two copies of it.  Met the authors once.  "Reinventing Goverment" by David Osborne and Ted Gaebler.  It nearly steered me into public service.  "Of course I remember it."

This friend knew nothing of rethink(IP) before yesterday.  And he knew nothing of it before making this comment:

"Reinventing Government. Yep, that's it.  Dumb, though, when you think about it.  Don't try to reinvent something. It's already been invented and can't be reinvented.  Don't waste your time.  But you can rethink it.  Rethink it, innovate around the stuff that has already been done, and invent new stuff.  Don't try to reinvent anything."

He was a smart guy back then, and still is today.



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