Innovation is imperative for public sector. While there’s no shortage of new ideas to explore and experiment with, the real challenge is turning a “big idea” into a scalable, functioning capability. Ryan Oakes explains why the magic happens at the intersection of fresh thinking and deep experience.

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One of the coolest things about my job is that I get to move around the country, and I get to see what’s happening virtually everywhere and what are we doing.

I get to see that really early strategy project and I also get to see that big operations project where we’ve put in the thing, the system, the capability and now we’re running it.

And what I have started to see over the last couple of years the pace of change happens so much faster now than it used to.

Driving innovation in months, not years

I’m starting to see, it used to take years to go from an idea, a thought, to a system, into something that was really driving differentiated outcomes. And now we can go there in a matter of months

Ready to scale? Demand experience

And then, this is the part that matters: You better have somebody who’s been there when it’s time to scale it. You better have somebody who’s been there when it’s time to manage it within the scope of multi-billion-dollar organizations, which is what our government clients are.

Experience informs design

And I really firmly believe that if you haven’t done that part, if you haven’t run the hard, fully scaled, statewide, mission-critical type systems, it’s really hard to design the front end of it.

Fresh thinking
Proven experience
Drive your success

And so the ability to both be nimble at the front end, and to prototype and iterate, and the ability to then pull back some of that really deep experience about understanding how complex and highly regulated our public sector can be, is really critical to long-term success.


Ryan Oakes

Senior Managing Director – Strategy & Consulting, Global Public Service

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