Word came recently, via one of those catch-up obituaries in The New York Times, of the passing of Bob Allen, who had been the chairman and CEO of AT&T during a time of merciless transition in the telecom industry during the 1980s and 1990s.

I have a reminiscence to offer, not as a criticism of Allen, who by all accounts was a decent man and strove mightily to reinvent AT&T in the wake of the forced 1984 divestiture of the regional operating companies, but to underline an example of “innovator’s dilemma” with which I had direct experience.

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The 2016 awards cycle has just opened for the Innovations in American Government Awards administered by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Harvard Kennedy School. The purpose of this prestigious awards program is to recognize creative and innovative government programs that have significant impact and are replicable nationally.

Innovations in American Government ProgramAs in previous years, I am serving as an advisor/recruiter in the community and economic development section of the IAG awards. I am particularly eager to see excellent submissions from programs in innovation- or technology-based economic development, but I am also interested in anchor institution programs managed by state or local government. If you have a candidate to recommend, you may contact me or submit an application directly.

Only programs administered under the authority of one or more governmental units are eligible to apply, and the application must come from a governmental unit. If the program you want to nominate is operated by a nonprofit in a public/private partnership, please allow me to connect you directly to program staff to discuss eligiblility.

The application deadline is April 15, 2016.

 

The Innovations in American Government Award administered by the Ash Center at the Harvard Kennedy School is again looking for nominations for innovative government programs, including in the category of community and economic development. The deadline is March 1st.

Winners of the Innovations competition are eligible for awards of up to $100,000 for replication and dissemination. You may apply directly or you can be referred through an adviser to the program, which assures that program staff will follow up with you to make sure you are eligible and that you successfully complete the application.

This year, as in 2010, I am serving in an advisory role and charged to scout out good candidates. If you know a government program that’s eligible (please see this document for guidelines), especially in the economic-development area, please get in touch with me, and I’ll make sure the Ash Center staff get your name and follow up with you.

Public-private partnerships, which are common in my end of the economic-development world, should know that only programs administered under the authority of one or more governmental entities are eligible (federal, state, local, tribal and territorial).

If you apply, good luck!