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Press Release Article July 27th, 2021
Cities • Innovation

The Centre for Public Impact and the National Association of County Administrators launch “Failing Forward in Local Government”

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Counties across the country commit to fostering cultures that support innovation through participation in "Failing Forward in Local Government," a program by @CPI_foundation & @NACA_ICMA

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Local government workers are charged with finding solutions to meet the needs of residents in extremely complex social, political, fiscal, and environmental circumstances. Progress in this context requires experimentation, risk-taking, and an embrace of failing forward.

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“For governments to serve residents, they need to improve & innovate continuously. Learning from failure must be at the center of the process. Failing Forward in Local Government will equip departments to develop & sustain cultures of innovation.” @Josh_Sorin, @CPI_foundation

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 7/272021

Elysa Neumann, Centre for Public Impact

+1 202-630-3383

elysa@centreforpublicimpact.org

The Centre for Public Impact and the National Association of County Administrators Launch “Failing Forward in Local Government”

Cabarrus County (NC), Lane County (OR), Loudoun County (VA), Ramsey County (MN), and Teton County (WY) commit to fostering cultures that support innovation

July 27, 2021 - Washington D.C. – Today, the Centre for Public Impact (CPI) and the National Association of County Administrators (NACA) announce the launch of Failing Forward in Local Government in Cabarrus County (NC), Lane County (OR), Loudoun County (VA), Ramsey County (MN), and Teton County (WY). Failing Forward in Local Government is a year-long program during which participating counties will build the capacities and cultures that promote innovation by embracing the necessity of learning from failure. 

Local government workers - be they directors or frontline staff - are charged with finding solutions to meet the needs of residents. This work must take into account extremely complex social, political, fiscal, and environmental circumstances. Progress in this context requires experimentation, risk-taking, and an embrace of failing forward

“For governments to best serve residents, they need to improve and innovate continuously. We believe learning from failure must be at the center of the process,” said Josh Sorin, Program Director for Government Innovation at CPI, “Unfortunately, a combination of structural, political, and social barriers prevent governments from embracing the learning mindset necessary for innovation to thrive. Failing Forward in Local Government will equip county departments to develop and sustain cultures of innovation.”

During the year-long program, Failing Forward in Local Government will work with all levels of department staff to catalyze and foster the adoption of innovation mindsets. Programming will include:

  • Quarterly masterclasses with county executives and senior leadership that will provide participants the opportunity to learn from and interact with subject matter experts on critical leadership topics related to innovation, risk-taking, and learning from failure. 

  • Fail Forward workshops are departmental sessions with staff at all levels of seniority where they will identify the unique barriers and assets to failing forward in their departments, and co-design and test action plans to create a culture of innovation that embraces failing forward.

“This is an urgent matter. The challenges facing our communities are both accelerating and becoming more complex every year,” said Lane County Administrator and President of NACA, Steve Mokrohisky. “The past year has demonstrated that innovation is not a luxury, but instead forms the backbone of an effective and resilient organization. We can create vibrant, successful communities if we can overcome our fear of failure and focus instead on empowering our organizations to be innovative, take risks and learn continuously from what works and what does not work.”

Visit Failing Forward in Local Government for more information and updates as the program progresses.

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About the Centre for Public Impact

At the Centre for Public Impact, we have an emerging vision to reimagine government so that it works for everyone. A global not-for-profit organisation founded by the Boston Consulting Group, we serve as a learning partner for governments, public servants and the diverse network of changemakers leading the charge to reimagine government – holding space to collectively make sense of the complex challenges we face, and drive meaningful change through experimentation.

About the National Association of County Administrators

The National Association of County Administrators (NACA) encourages professional development for county administrators and provides information and resources to its members to improve the management of county government. NACA strives to share knowledge, information, and experience among members, and assist with the establishment and improvement of effective county administration.

Written by:

Elysa Neumann Communications Advisor, CPI North America
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