248. The Convergence: Innovating Innovation with Molly Cain

[Editor’s Note: Mad Scientist Laboratory is pleased to announce our latest episode of “The Convergence” podcast, featuring Molly Cain, founder of GovCity and a futures and strategy consultant in the defense and space government arena. Please note that this podcast and several of the embedded links below are best accessed via a non-DoD network due to network priorities for teleworking — Enjoy!]

In this latest episode of “The Convergence,” we talk with Molly Cain, founder of GovCity, the Nation’s first disruption and culture accelerator focused on government, civic, and culture change. Molly works at the intersection of technology and cultural disruption with broad ranging expertise in industry, startups, and helping the Federal Government tap into innovation with greater ambition and more visibility.

In this episode, we talk with Ms. Cain about leadership, barriers to youth in government service, and rewarding disruption. Some of the highlights from our interview include the following:

      • GovCity is a hackathon-style think tank that promotes collaboration, innovation, and disruptive thinking through 48-hour events. These events give people a safe space to share innovative ideas and have disruptive conversations.
      • Government leaders should trust themselves in uncomfortable situations, and allow their teammates to make mistakes as they strive for innovation.
      • There are lots of similarities between the government and private sectors. DoD can better harness this relationship by focusing more on learning about the local business ecosystem and collaboration with their partners. Private companies hoping to work with DoD should use sources like LinkedIn and Twitter to start conversations on departmental innovation.
      • People who communicate and cross-index well are valuable in every workspace.
      • Government employees should constantly send internship and job opportunities to young applicants, and eschew government jargon to make jobs more appealing to the next generation of innovators. Young people should seek to find the right boss, as well as the right job, so they can fully participate in their work.
      • The government should innovate their promotion process by promoting more leaders who have made difficult or disruptive decisions rather than those who have “toed the line.”

Stay tuned to the Mad Scientist Laboratory for our next podcast with Lisa Kaplan, founder of the Alethea Group, addressing weaponized information as a national security problem, algorithmic silos created by social media, and disinformation as the next iteration of warfare on 9 July 2020!

If you enjoyed this post, check out:

Innovation Isn’t Enough: How Creativity Enables Disruptive Strategic Thinking, by Heather Venable

The Changing Dynamics of Innovation, by Mr. Ian Sullivan

The Trouble with Talent: Why We’re Struggling to Recruit and Retain Our Workforce, by Sarah L. Sladek

>>> REMINDER 1: The Mad Scientist Initiative will facilitate the next webinar in our Weaponized Information Virtual Events series on Wednesday, 1 July 2020 (1300-1430 EDT):

Weaponized Information: The Storm After the Flood — This virtual wargame will be facilitated by Dr. Gary Ackerman, The Center for Advanced Red Teaming, University at Albany, SUNY, with crowdsourced participation.

In order to participate in this virtual event, you must first register here [via a non-DoD network]. Registration is limited, so sign up now! And stay tuned to the Mad Scientist Laboratory for more information on our upcoming Weaponized Information virtual events!

>>> REMINDER 2: Mad Scientist wants your Information Warfare Vignettes! We launched this crowdsourcing exercise to complement our Weaponized Information Virtual Events and we want to hear from you! Review submission guidelines on our flyer here, then craft and submit your most innovative and insightful visions of information warfare to us at: MADSCITRADOC@gmail.com. The winner of our writing contest will be present at our virtual conference on 21 July 2020. Deadline for submission is 1 July 2020!

>>> REMINDER 3: If you missed the first four webinars in our Mad Scientist Weaponized Information Virtual Events series — no worries! You can watch them again here [via a non-DoD network].



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One Reply to “248. The Convergence: Innovating Innovation with Molly Cain”

  1. I found the article and podcast both interesting and inspiring. Much of the discussion reminded me of the material that Dr. Rob McClary, in UFMCS, presented in his Innovation course. I’m looking forward to similar postings on this topic.

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