|Zuckerberg listening to US president Obama|
But such fascinating stories of entrepreneurship like Facebook or Google which incidentally started in a garage, should teach lessons to mammoth government set-ups across the world, and India in particular. Why can’t Zuckerberg’s hacker attitude not inculcated by Indian bureaucrats who are brilliant, yet carry a baggage of laziness and negativity? Many bureaucrats will instantly dismiss such an idea saying that in government you have to do everything within rules, and leaving one mistake will mean you are culpable. But that’s an old-fashioned argument.
This is how Indian bureaucrats can use Zuckerberg’s hacker formulae of trying new things even if they fail.
a) Be prepared for mistakes. If you have read the comments of Prime Minister, CVC etc. you would have realized by now that you will get away with “honest mistakes” even in government. So what stops you from experimenting new ideas, hackers’ way?
b) We often forget that there are start-ups within the government too. Unique Identity, Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor, new metro rail projects across India etc. are all start-ups. Read Zuckerberg’s philosophy and try to incorporate those in your government venture.
c) Hacker’s attitude can also find place in old-fashioned large government offices. The Commercial Tax Department of the government of Karnataka, for example, has received the Central government’s annual e-governance award for creating a paperless system. One entrepreneur-like spirited bureaucrat at the top can change the entire system below.
d) The departments like DoPT should also take note of such new ways of getting things done. The ACRs of officers should include a column where getting out-of-box ideas should be suitably rewarded.
e) Finally, implementing Zuckerberg’s hacker’s attitude is not possible in government unless there is a team of like-minded people. Why can’t an officer choose his own men rather than getting satisfied with those who are given by his department? Is DoPT listening?
When Prime Minister’s Office is on Twitter, and is contemplating to have a Facebook account any time soon, Indian bureaucrats must read Facebook founder’s hacker philosophy and experiment things which are considered odds in government. If you want to follow babu blogger in Facebook, here is the address: http://www.facebook.com/babublogger