OpenGov: Bringing the Cloud to Government

By Amy Wilkinson
2021 | Case No. E667 | Length 28 pgs.
The OpenGov: Bringing the Cloud to Government case presents the example of OpenGov founder and CEO Zachary Bookman, who creates and scales a high growth venture to serve government. Bookman demonstrates the mindset and skill set required of entrepreneurial leaders able to drive change across legacy institutions. The case unfolds as Bookman exhibits six skills that propel OpenGov to success. It starts with Bookman’s ability to “Find the Gap” and spot an opportunity that others don’t see. Soon Bookman and his team “Drive for Daylight” by outlining the long term vision for what they seek to accomplish. Through quick decision making and multiple iterations, they “Fly the OODA Loop.” Bookman and his team Observe, Orient, Decide and Act to propel OpenGov’s growth. Of course, they don’t always get it right. They “Fail Wisely” by learning through setbacks and testing ideas through experiments to make failure cheap. At every stage of growth, Bookman and his team “Network Minds” to harness diverse points of view in order to solve problems in novel ways. Bookman is determined to build a culture in which employees “Gift Small Goods” by generously supporting each other. Throughout the case the skills are presented in the context of the entrepreneurial leadership challenge Bookman must deliver on in order to build a thriving business working with the legacy institution of government.

Learning Objective

This case is taught in Beyond Disruption: Entrepreneurial Leadership Within Existing Organizations. The course takes both a top-down and bottom-up approach to driving innovation. The top-down approach considers what leaders need to do to design organizations so they can both compete in mature businesses and generate new businesses to meet the challenges posed by disruption. The bottom-up approach examines the individual mindset and skills required of entrepreneurial leaders to succeed in driving new growth initiatives. This case focuses on the bottom-up approach.
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