If we could design state operations from scratch, rarely would we structure government as it is today. The many different legacy systems and structures that grew organically are often an impediment to innovation. New technologies and business processes offer the potential for smarter more efficient ways of running governments, but implementing these technologies and systems is often impossible because of historical baggage. The case study presented here is the story of a state chief administrator in Kentucky faced with a mandate from the governor to reduce energy usage 15% by 2015 that coincided with a brilliant idea to centrally measure and control energy. What stood in the way was decades of customs, practices, software and hardware developed differently in each agency and each building. Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland A’s faced the same challenges in convincing a baseball culture steeped in tradition that there was smarter way of doing business. In spite of steep resistance he revolutionized the sport by overcoming the institutional inertia and demonstrating that a similar data-driven approach could build a championship team on a shoe-string budget.
Sarah Razor, Executive Director