004 Dustin Haisler
(CIO, Government Technology)
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Andrew K Kirk: This is GovConnect, a podcast about innovation and local government. I’m Andrew K Kirk the Chief Revenue Officer at CitySourced and today I’m talking to Dustin Haisler. He’s the Chief Innovation Officer at e.Republic who most of you probably know as the publisher behind Gov Tech news and Governing.
So when we decided to launch GovConnect, Dustin you were one of the first people that I reached out to to invite to the show, and the reason really is because you know, you’re this ferocious reader on all things innovation you have personal experience as an innovator in civic tuck and earlier in your career you were actually, you know on the other side in the public sector, so Dustin welcome to GovConnect.
Dustin Haisler: Thanks, great to be here and you know honored that you thought of me when you thought about innovation so looking forward to conversation.
Andrew K Kirk: When I talk about you as a ferocious reader you have this weekly curated list that you put together in all things innovation and then how it connects back to local government. Just tell us how did you start that? What are your sources? How many hours a week are you reading in scouring through information to compile that?
Dustin Haisler: I started I was already doing a lot of reading, just to keep up with what’s going on, I mean part of my role as is the Chief Innovation Officer. So also try to understand what’s happening in the bigger picture, in the macro landscape of the world that we live in and so, you know that involves reading not just publications that are in our space but publications that are not in our space. So, you know looking at everything from like Fast Company to Harvard Business Review to MIT Tech Review to even getting into like some science journals and so as I ingested all this stuff you know basically I would embed that into presentations and you know any time I had meetings with individuals and governments I would kind of bring this data to the table and I realized that I actually needed to try to do it more often in a more structured way for the market. I just started putting together 10 things that kind of catch my attention every week and a little synopsis as to what stands out and you know what my takeaway is a my point of view as for government and it’s you know been a great little experiment that continues to grow and it’s fun to kind of hear feedback from people and you know, the great thing about, you know, embeding a point of view and these things too is I’m not always right. So sometimes it will challenge someone else’s conventions and they’ll come back and have you know something so it’s a way for the market to kind of learn and so I think you know, I hope it’s something that other people start to do themselves. You know this market really need a point of view about what’s happening. And what’s going on. What’s working and what’s not working in order for us to really advance and move the needle.
Andrew K Kirk: It’s easy to get kind of caught up in our own specific little niche so CitySourced were big on mobile services. So it’s easy for me to get deep into that world. So I love that I need to be kind of plugged into the other concepts whether it’s blockchain or iot or ground. So you really kind of forced me to do that and I promise that while I won’t be doing it myself I’ll continue to challenge you on Twitter if I find something that I disagree with so you can I guarantee that. So, you know, we hit on this a little bit in the intro, but why don’t you just take a few minutes and kind of walk through your background and how you got to where you are today?
Dustin Haisler: I was in banking for some time and our bank president retired. He decided to go into government as his retirement job. I’m not exactly sure what his motivation was and when he got there he became city manager of the city outside of Austin called Manor, Texas, and he recruited me to come and be the city’s finance director and their CFO and I wasn’t really interested. But, he twisted my arm and I jumped in the government and you know thought well how could how different could municipal accounting date and corporate accounting and quickly learned that it was very different and and you know kind of as the head of finance for the city I was a tightwad so, you know vendors would come in and they would pitch the city, you know hundred plus thousand dollars to do a website and other things and you know what I’d been a technologist, I’ve done Tech Consulting throughout my career and did a lot of IT related things.
And so I knew you know how much IT cost and it was really kind of appalled at what I was seeing and how people were taking advantage of especially smaller communities. And so I kind of think the mantra that we were just going to start to do it ourselves and we were going to start to put in place, you know and infrastructure to you know, really meet the needs of our citizens. And so we did everything from you know, launching one of the first local government open source, you know content Management Systems in the country to developing new ways to engage our residents.
We partnered with Stanford University on new tactics to help nudge behavior in the public sector, you know, we launched open Innovation portals to try to give people more of a voice in the process and you know really became an experiment in what government was capable of and you know, it was a lot of fun and so I did that for five years and then I left and joined an open innovation company called Spigot that was based in California and ran public sector for them and basically had the opportunity at that point to go and build innovation programs for some of the largest cities in the world.
And so it was great, you know be able to kind of take the lessons that I learned in small local government and see how they applied and scaled to some of these large agencies all over the world and did that for two years we sold the company and then I developed, you know consumer tech and did you know some in edtech and then decided to go back into government and before I could I was speaking in an e.Republic conference, one of our digital government trade shows and e.Republic CEO wad in the room and here I am 40 years later as e.Republic’s Chief Innovation officer and basically my role is to move the needle in the public sector to work with our teams inside of our organization to design everything from go-to-market plans for large and small companies and then also work with government and startups on you know, how do we actually accelerate public sector innovation? So I kind of get to operate on both sides of the fence rather than just being on one side. I get to help, you know, both communities work together and try to advance what’s happening in the space.
Andrew K Kirk: I guess some people might look at that and say well here was this guy he was a rising star early in his career, you know could have could have clearly risen in the ranks. But why, know what made you leave public sector why take that leap into the private side.
Dustin Haisler: Yeah, that’s a great question. You know I left because I wanted to scale bigger than where I was and you know my last year when I was in Manor, I was spending a lot of time traveling to other cities and helping them do the same thing and I realized that it wasn’t really fair to my community to spend so much time on other communities and so, you know jumping to the private sector gave me a platform to be able to help other cities at scale and to be able to you know learn from them and you know, I’ve always thought from a macro standpoint. Like how do we take what we’ve done here and make it something that every other city in the country can do and so that was really a platform to do it.
But I also think you know, we always call private sector the dark side in when I was in public sector is like, you know, it was a predictable thing that people would exit to the dark side and then they might come back but you know now that I’ve been on this side, it’s not really the dark side. It’s you know, it’s it plays an important part is, you know in how government innovates and it’s not something that agencies can just do themselves. I mean what we did when I was in government was reliant on working with some really amazing private-sector partners that got it that were mission-oriented that you know wanted to test new things that hadn’t been done before in government. And so it’s just another angle and another stakeholder at the table that you know, sometimes has a lot more resources that can be put to doing things and so I think it plays an important part in it and for me, you know, it gave me the ability to do it and to learn at a much higher level than I was able to do just in one city.
Andrew K Kirk: Back to your time in the public sector. I know one of the innovations you deployed was basically a virtual currency to help with kind of gamifying and rewarding citizen engagement, which is clearly way ahead of its time and even the idea of virtual currencies. But if you look, you know fast forward to today, you haven’t really seen that approach been more widely adopted and why do you think that is?
Dustin Haisler: I think that this space of Citizen engagement itself is kind of gone in circles since my time in Manor and it doesn’t mean that you know, we need to have a virtual currency to get people to plug into things. But, I think we need to relook at how you know, we nudge behavior and how we get people to do things that they don’t want to do. And so you know what we did in Manor we would provide an incentive what we called an endo Buck for people that performed, you know various things like submitting an idea on a website or participating or voting and you know, we recognize them and gave them kind of points that they could trade in for, you know, non-monetary things the things that were donated or they could be like chief of police for a day.
So you have some fun things to try to make government more human, but also give people a chance to, you know, get rewarded for the time that they put in. You know, I think today there’s still a little bit of a disconnect and how you actually gamify things and you know, there’s a whole science behind embedding psychology into technology and you know, it kind of gets into these scary areas that you have to balance the ethics of like nudging behavior because you can get into kind of the clickbait side of things where you artificially nudge behavior or you know kind of the, you know more do good I want to try to nudge behavior for the right reasons. And so I think you know, there’s a little bit of a skills gap that exists.
I think there’s a, the fact that a lot of these engagement vehicles or the gamification vehicles haven’t really been standardized and products I think is really important but I would almost say, you know, this is going to be a little more controversial. We just have to rethink of what engagement actually is with the kind of define that and move beyond the fluffy ways of engaging people today and then we can start to look at using some more of these Enterprise tools that are used in the private sector to nudge behavior all the time. And so, you know today when you talk to most people about citizen engagement, they’ll immediately start with what we have Facebook page and we’ve got a Twitter account. We’ve got all these things and I’m like, that’s great. But you know, what kind of value do you get out of someone retweeting what you share on Facebook or on Twitter? You know, what kind of value do you get out of the little reaction smiley faces on Facebook. I mean you do take them literally to counsel and say well this month a hundred and fifty people did the angry face like no no one does that it doesn’t create a business value for agencies. And so I think we have to look beyond that.
I’m of the opinion that we have to start to find ways to leverage people to do more for agencies. And so that we can do more for them. We have to expand our reach and as Clay Shirky says and we have to kind of tap the cognitive surplus of people. And you know our citizens are all experts in something. And so I think once we realize that then we can start to look at incentivizing behavior to get that expertise to be applied to real problems that exist in government and it’s happening today with certain agencies. I mean like NASA’s figured out how to incentivize behavior and how to get you know, citizen scientist to spot black holes and you know other things but we haven’t cracked that fully at the state and local level of government.
Andrew K Kirk: I think there’s a couple real kind of key points that you hit on. One is something we’ve been talking about at CitySourced. This idea of citizen engagement is exciting, but it’s become so nebulous as to kind of mean everything and nothing and if you’re just, you know pushing people to do behavior, whether it’s like or retweet, you know, one your kind of targeting a very specific audience and the second one is like what are you doing to actually pull them and new audiences into things that tap back to actual business value or government value that can be delivered and I think when it comes to the gamification you have to balance if you’re using a vendor that wants to drive that need just like Facebook wants more eyeballs on their content and on their ads, what is the city’s actual approach to gamification.
Dustin Haisler: So it’s hard I think like you said at the state and local level to make sure that you have kind of the subject matter experts that understand how to implement it. And also what really truly is the behavior that you’re trying to incentivize so I really love the points you make.
Something you hit on there that I’d really like to dive into and you’ve talked about this in one of your previous TEDx talks. But this idea, you know of Rapid Innovation. I think you even talk about open innovations right where leaders tap into their employees, their customers and even their constituents for innovation. So how can the public sector go about kind of best tapping into this rapid and open innovation style?
Dustin Haisler: Yeah, I mean, I think when you think about innovation traditionally most people think about like R&D centers and you know, they think of Silicon Valley and having these like Skunk Works teams that are all huddled together really smart people trying to crack complex problems and that doesn’t really work. It’s hard to commercialize what comes out of that. But open innovation is basically this concept that innovation can come from any part of your organization. And in fact, you know when you think about it, it’s actually pretty logical. I mean the people that experience the biggest challenges and pain points with processes inside of government are people that are on the front line their your day-to-day employees that are dealing with customers or answering the phone. They’re taking payment and you know, when you think about it from an innovation standpoint, they’re often the last people that most agencies go to to try to tackle and solve problems.
I mean normally you either hire a high-dollar consultant to give you a three ring binder or you assemble your department heads that are so far removed from the trenches of what’s going on. But you can’t really do anything and you can’t really solve problems that actually exist because you’re seeing them from too high up. And so open innovation is basically putting in place a process to collect insights and ideas from any part of your organization and you know kind of to the edge of your organization and I think the key is, you know, not just collecting ideas. I mean innovation isn’t an ideas problem, but it’s also putting in place a system to execute on ideas that people have so, you know, if you do an open call for ideas in your organization you’re going to get a lot of ideas.
And you know, when you can’t respond to them or act on them, or you have no process to manage them, you know, it’s just like the old idea collection boxes that used to be in malls where you can submit an idea for the mall. No one ever did that you might have done it once. But, you never did it again because there was no feedback loop. And so I think you know when you think about these processes that need to be in place, you have to have a mechanism to collect from the edge of your organization, but you also have to have a mechanism to execute and respond to it and if an idea comes in that doesn’t work, it’s out of your jurisdiction, you can’t do it. You have to be able to provide that feedback because that person is going to be disengaged. If you don’t it’s kind of like, you know backrest citizen engagement conversation if someone shows up to a council meeting and they talked for three minutes and you can’t legally respond to them because what they talked about is not on the agenda. It’s not really going to encourage them to ever want to come back and engage in a government process again, and in the same is true for the way that you collect insights from people inside your organization now once you mastered inside your organization.
Then you can look at going outside and getting insights and expertise from people that are in the general public and that is a scary concept that times. I mean, I talked to some of my city manager friends and you know having public input on things is great during public meetings and other structured sessions, but just having a vehicle to do that all the time can sometimes, you know call the long arm with I don’t have the staff to manage this what are we going to do? And so you really have to have kind of a process that’s been refined and tested with your employees to process and collect insights. And once you’ve got that down, then you can look to the general public and and get their, you know insights on things and the best way to start is to look at their problems.
I mean anytime someone had a problem in my city I would basically say what would you do to solve this problem? I kind of flipped it around and instead of just having a Complaint Form or you know email address that they can email and concerns I would actually give them another field that was required. How would you solve this problem? And that in itself is an idea and it gives you a better look at actually what the problem might be that you know may have not been described properly at the first, you know kind of text box. So, so I think you know agencies have to find ways to tap insights for you know, the people that they have employed by them, their employees. As well as the general public because there’s so much time and energy they get wasted because there’s not a real structured way for them to plug in and you know, my thing is everyone is an expert in something in the way that people volunteer for government today, you know will get students to volunteer like to sell water bottles at a you know at a fundraiser.
And it’s like that doesn’t actually do anything. I mean, it’s great. It raises money and that’s an important part of the process but those students they may be experts in certain coding language and they could solve our technical problem for the agency. And I think we just have to move beyond these traditional ways of people plugging into processes open innovations, one way to collect insights and act on them and then I think you know going further we have to find ways to let people plug-in additional talents on top of it.
I mean you might have a grant writer that lives in your city that works for another city that’s willing to plug in and volunteer time. I mean we have that in my community and you know, they did free work for us and they volunteered and they got value out of it because you know, it was something that they enjoyed being able to give back and you know, I didn’t ask them to sit in a meeting and you know go through, you know, all these artificial things.
I just let them plug in a way that they felt comfortable doing. So I think that’s the challenge / opportunity for agencies is moving beyond what we have today. Looking at ways to collect insights from your employees and your constituents, act on them and let them be a part of that process.
Andrew K Kirk: Well, that’s awesome.
That’s incredible. I think, you know summarizing a few of those points really opening up internally look at your staff give them a chance. Obviously, you need to have a culture where people feel comfortable or you make it anonymous that they can raise problems and then I like the second part of that that you said, it’s almost what I call the past back method you say.
There’s the problem, but how would you provide a solution to that problem? So I think that’s a great approach. Obviously that will be hopefully well received early. You have to have some kind of execution ideas behind that because if it’s just like you said and idea box that is goes to nowhere people will quickly lose interest.
I think that’s kind of the second phase after that is do you have kind of a framework to execute on these is it okay if there’s some failure around that have you normalized results in measuring it and making it okay to try new things, but I think you tapped into like a really good way of starting internally then once you get comfortable with that looking externally to the public and the constituents for innovation.
So looking, you know, to today and to kind of the modern Chief Information Officer role the Chief Innovation Officer. Will how do you see that changing and how does it change now and then kind of looking out in the near-term future, how do you see that continuing to change?
Dustin Haisler: I mean it’s an exciting time to be in and around government. Especially I would say the local level specifically just because there’s so much change happening at the ground level and cities are the front end of all of that. So it’s a really exciting time cities are also grappling with a lot of this change in different ways. And you know, one of the things that we’ve been tracking, Paul Taylor, a colleague of mine and I have been looking at the rise of these new c-level positions and there’s no over 25 different c-level positions in state and local government that have emerged since we’ve been looking. Things like Chief Privacy Officers, Chief Innovation Officers, you have Performance Officers, you have analytics officers, you’ve got, you know, there’s an iot Officer that exist. So there’s all these new C’s that exist which you know, when you look at it from a distance, you may say, oh wow government’s getting with it that super progressive but it also is a sign of you know, there’s some challenge that will emerge with having all of these islands of different roles and responsibilities that aren’t always defined.
And so, you know, I think you know, the great news is government is moving on change in the trying to make sense of it, but we have to really focus on now and if I were a CIO, you know, I would really focus on trying to build the infrastructure. Support the ecosystem of all these new positions that emerge and you know, what is the centralized vision of our organization and how does everybody fit into that and what are their roles and responsibilities for execution?
Because one of the challenges you will have is you know, too many cooks in the kitchen that each have their own vision of what they want to do and things break down and you know the great thing about innovation today is it’s very easy to iterate, you know technology can allow you to rapidly test things and you know develop MVPs and put them out but if everyone is executing simultaneously then nothing is actually going to get done.
Nothing is going to be accomplished of the centralized. So we have to start to look at building structure in organizations that are trying to grapple with the change and I think is you know starts with recognizing that the role of the CIO is evolving to that beyond just managing the back end of you know, the day-to-day operation like the CIO is no longer the person that just makes things print when you hit the print plunge, you know, there are a critical part of all conversations. I mean you look at all the Smart City stuff that’s happening across the country. You know CIO should be at the table for all of those conversations. And I think that’s the challenge now because many of them are not and this is a you know, something organizationally that we have to help, you know, the market understand.
You’ve got to have someone that is already overseeing the day-to-day of the structure be at the table for any new infrastructure that’s going to come. So I think that’s one thing and then
I think that, you know, all of these new positions that are emerging need to operate off of a common Playbook and vision and you know, I’m a big Jim Collins fan.
I love built Alaska to grade all those books and I think there’s a lot of lessons that can be learned from looking at organizations that live their purpose and their mission and they have an embedded into the culture of how they operate and I think the same is true for government. I mean your purpose isn’t just to provide water service or provide power.
I mean, if you look at the organizational purpose that you have in the mission that you have it can’t be fluffy. It can’t be generic, but it’s got to be something that. You know is as big and audacious, you can wrap your arms around it and it empowers everyone to act and you kind of have an operating Playbook to go from it.
So I think that there’s a lot of lessons learned in that, you know giving people common vision to operate off of and then I think you know the last thing I would say on that is, you know also agencies have to understand that that they’re going to be in a continuous state of improvement and you know, we call it beta, you know, they’re going to be in this state where they’re never going to arrive at a destination where they’re done and their work is accomplished.
And so I think you know baking that into the organizational mindset is really important. Because often times we look at people as well that’s a project manager for this. They’re you know, they’re running lead on that. It’s like we’re all on the same, you know rocket we’re building the rocket as we fly it and it we’re never going to reach a point where we’re done.
We’re going to constantly expand and improve and I think that sometimes can create challenges when organizations treat things on a project-by-project basis and try to Silo management off to different, you know different seas that may be super qualified to do it but it just the disorganization of it causes the entire organization to really stumbles.
Andrew K Kirk: Yeah, that’s great. So what I picked up and what was really interesting in there was you didn’t talk about a challenge in security or technology or even procurement or adoption or business change the big thing you really hit on there was kind of the the people the human aspect and how especially I think on the traditional CIO role which was they were the technologist they could make sure the emails system was up in the calendars and people had their software up and running.
Because that’s kind of their foundation to this. You know, we’ve been talking about this transition of really more the interaction in the people level in developing. Both alliances across different departments and different sea levels as you and kind of within the organization that supports Innovation.
Would you do you think that’s the single kind of biggest challenge facing today’s, you know, CIO or innovation office?
Dustin Haisler: I think there is a lot of focus on what is possible in the shiny objects of possibility, you know, like you look at artificial intelligence and you know blockchain and you know, all of these different things you would go to conferences you hear all about them.
That’s great. They all have a lot of potential inside of government, but I think the biggest challenge is making sense of people and how you actually optimize people for the future and how you orchestrate them and the future and there’s going to be a lot of you know interesting things that start to impact government not just from like, you know technology coming in and displacing people.
I’m more of an optimist that the augmentation is kind of a thing, but just you know making sense of how we deal with these changes with our own people with our constituents with you know, the various entities that we serve. I think, you know a smart city starts with people at the center and then you work your way out. Oftentimes we look at rolling technology out in search of a problem. And that’s where things really aren’t sustainable. I mean you can put in a state of the art, you know AI that it has mined all this data that you have and you know, if your people don’t know how to use it or if it doesn’t actually solve a problem that’s relatable to them.
You know, you just wasted a bunch of time and money, you know spending building a software system to interface with a bunch of Legacy data. So I think it starts with people and designing for them and you know, we sort of digital government. We’ve created the government Experience Awards and you know, we think you know, when you build for people and you optimize their experience everything else follows, and so when you build for experience that means you have to build for you know that you have to build the infrastructure to support the experience. So my own a scalable platform that can support, you know, all of the new needs that emerge over time like the internet of things and like these other things that we draw out all the time.
Is my platform scalable to in order to enable me to do that. We often miss the people side of things. How are my individuals going to use that how you know, what’s the change management process associated with it. Does it solve a problem for them. Does it enable them to be more effective at what they do.
And from an intelligent standpoint kind of being that last layer, you know, how do we actually measure progress? You know, are we doing better? Are we doing worse, you know being able to understand our progress as we move down that path I think is really key. But I think you know agencies have to get really proficient at designing for the people that they serve whether it’s their employees or the constituents.
That’s the biggest challenge I see of our era. Technology, you know is easy. I’ll say it easy. There’s a lot of complexities associated with it, but it’s applying technology to the right problems that are defined by the people that you saw that you serve is going to be the hardest thing to crack because it’s so easy for us in the public sector to think we understand the problems.
I mean I did this to where I could see a problem and then I would want to go solve it but we have to get better at actually validating that and understanding who it is that has the problem. And you know what their experience is and what the most optimal solution is not based on my opinion, but based on the way that they would use that technology in the future.
Andrew K Kirk: Well, I mean we got to presume that someone who’s at that C-level has that certain level of kind of people skills, but there’s definitely some listeners out there who are probably were technologists or they were really good at project management or they were good at, you know, cutting costs and have got into that role.
So if someone wants to become better at one, the people management and maybe two, kind of the design thinking in the experience of people both within their office and the constituents they serve what do you think they can do to improve in those areas?
Dustin Haisler: Yeah, I mean I think you know, it starts with understanding, you know, the bigger picture landscape the people that you touch like let’s say you’re a project manager.
I mean understand the people that are using the systems that you oversee and that you’re you know, implementing. Maybe you’re working on an upgrade. You will understand everything about them develop personas and then, you know be a resource educate, you know the rest of your team. On both your perspective as well as what you’re seeing in the market and I think it’s really important to create spaces for dialogue to happen and for these points of view to get out and I think you know, one of the things when doing that the former Chief Innovation Officer San Francisco was there he used to do these lunches where he would bring in experts to kind of just talk about their perspectives on you know, what they were doing in the space and what their views were and you know, it would challenge the group and sometimes validate the group and you know, I think that’s a great example of things that you could look to do is be that for your for your team and for your organization as well as create opportunities. If you’re in a position to do that create opportunities for that to happen for your team, you know, bring in new stimuli share that with the group and then I think you know the most important thing we’re at this moment where you know anyone inside of an organization can create a brand new model that can change the way that government works. I mean, I would say I would argue that all of the rules about being a public servant are being rewritten today and the way that we planned cities in the past are changing, the way that we institute systems and you know, even how we deploy IP from a natural standpoint now, like everything is changing. The rules are being rewritten and everybody at an organization is rewriting collectively. So regardless of whatever your role is, you know plug and and look at creating a model that can be used not just for your organization, but for every other organization and then share the heck out of it and you know, you might be 30% right when you start.
But, by the time other people start to you know, add on to it or voice their opinions or you know, share what they’re doing you’ll get to where you’ve actually made a noticeable impact and kind of put a dent in the ways that we are doing things in this space and I think more people need to do that and recognize that change isn’t going to you know, this this mission-critical change isn’t just going to emerge from the CIO and the city managers and the Mayors and the elected. It really happens when you Empower people at every position in their organizations to be able to start to dictate and lead some of them on their own. So I think that’s you know, that’s the opportunity for those of you in leadership positions that are listening find ways to empower your team’s to do that.
For those of you that are in positions of non leadership find ways to just start doing it today and you know work with the community and there’s lots of different networks to plug in but start building new models of how we execute in government. Because we definitely need it and we’re at this critical moment in time where agencies have to act because of the exponential nature of technology and behavior change another thing that that are happening.
It’s just so critical that we move now.
Andrew K Kirk: That’s awesome. I really love that for that idea that future leader. If you want to connect with people give them avenues, give them outlets, whether it’s as simple as a, you know, a lunchtime gathering, an anonymous form, somewhere where they can you know, you’re saying I’m open I want to connect I want your ideas and I think the last one you hit on is huge. There’s so many people that inside their organization they don’t realize they can’t start with just themselves or a colleague or even their small little team. They think oh I’ll do something interesting and new once I have the influence once I have the authority and really they can start at a much smaller scale and start now and it can be doesn’t have to be reinventing everything within the organization. It can be one small change that they get some success with and see that it works. And then like you said, you know information should be free like share it internally and share share those wins. So I love that. So Dustin we’re moving on to the really fun kind of final portion that we call our rapid question round.
So. The the first one that we’ll start with at CitySourced, we’re all about pushing out more of these government services through our mobile app platform and we think there’s an incredible opportunity there. So for you, what type of smartphone do you use and what is your favorite app?
Dustin Haisler: All right. I use an iPhone 10. Favorite app, probably from a work standpoint I am a Trello guy. I love Trello and I think you know for those of you that are in project management Trello is like the best tool that you could possibly use all together. And then yeah so that I would say from a personal standpoint Starbucks. I’m a Starbucks Coffee guy. That’s my second. You know my second home away from home is Starbucks. But, actually there’s a lot of lessons that can be extracted from the Starbucks mobile app for government agencies just about designing kind of a user experience that’s really built around people and their needs and everything else. So so those are probably my two most frequent apps that that I use on my phone. I am, you know, getting into the voice assistant and other things that we have and it’s kind of modified mine to respond different ways to my kids, but but I think those were probably those be my FrontRunner applications.
Andrew K Kirk: Awesome. Yeah, we use the Starbucks as an incredible example, you know, we’re all in on mobile and most people in local government are but sometimes you get a question about well who’s going to use this and we point to well, look at Starbucks look at to a little bit lesser extent Domino’s and McDonald’s. These are obviously big billion dollar companies, but they’re doing you know margin thin transactions and they’re really kind of driving adoption and customer service through that mobile platforms.
That’s cool to see that you’re you’re a big coffee drinker. So number two. What’s one book? You most recommend or give away to others.
Dustin Haisler: There’s so many that are great. One that I recently read that I actually really liked and I think it has applicability in government and outside of government with companies that are serving government is called Regulatory Hacking.
And it’s labeled as kind of a playbook for startups, but I think there’s also some good nuances in there for government. It came from Evan Berfield and JD Harrison and Evan was the co-founder of 1776. So, you know, that’s kind of a great read for those that are interested in what’s happening and how you know how people can take advantage of this new landscape that we’re in both inside and outside of government.
Andrew K Kirk: That’s great. I like that you like to be challenged and I’m going to add the Regulatory Hacking to my to my reading list so number three, what’s one tool software or even non Tech hack that you’re using right now that makes your life better.
Dustin Haisler: Outside of the outer office on Outlook I use I use Trello a lot. I love Trello. It is great for you know, non software development stuff just as good as it is for software development stuff. And so I use that you know inside. It helps coordinate projects and other things so, I mean that’s that’s one great way that you can plug into it. So, I mean that’s what as I mentioned that was one of my most used apps as well. I mean other software that’s helpful. Let me think if there’s anything else that kind of stands out. I also like mind mapping software. So like mine jet as an example. It is, you know, this great systems like that that allow you to start to map out kind of these bigger picture correlation things and I think those that becomes really important that you start to, you know work on.
And of the bigger picture macro changes that you want to do just being able to kind of build some structure and some semblance and that is great.
Andrew K Kirk: Perfect love that so Dustin tell our audience where can they connect with you? I know you’re constantly at events, you know doing webinars digitally where can the audience find and connect with you?
Dustin Haisler: Yeah, absolutely. You can find me online. I’m on LinkedIn, you can just search Dustin Haisler.
Good thing is there’s only one Dustin Haisler out there so, I’m on Twitter @dustinhaisler are you can also find me on my website and I’m trying to post the latest things that I’m reading this as well as you know, some of the research that I’ve done over the years and that’s just dustinhaisler.com. You kind of catch the theme basically just put a forward slash in any of the major networks, and you’ll probably hit you know one of my properties so that’s a great place, also encourage you to check out your GovTech.com. If you’re not plugged into what’s happening in the space.
We’ve also launched something called Gov Tech Biz, which is just GovTech.com/biz and we’ve got a phenomenal beat writer Ben Miller that’s pumping out content that’s happening in and around government and I call it the Wall Street Journal of our space because it’s just kind of a look at the industry side of what’s going on around government in the startup Center forming and you know the funding and everything else.
So it’s kind of a fun way to see that and and all of the data associated with it. So check those out, you know governing another platform to be on the policy side and you’re interested in kind of where that meat stacked governing.com is another great resource. Plug into that and then you know one other, you know shout out is as you start to, you know, do the crazy things of reinventing government.
We want to know about it too. And the great thing about you e.Republic is a companies were very mission oriented and we want to tell those stories not just to give you air cover but also so that you can start to connect with other agencies may be doing that as well. And so, you know, if you’re doing things that are that are crazy, that are innovative or if you have questions or other things just reach out and I’ll make sure that my email is in the in the show notes and let me know what you’re doing. And you know if I can help you I’ll definitely try it.
Andrew K Kirk: Well, I will make sure we link all of those places where people can find you and certainly the e.Republic sites as well because I know I read them and they’re incredibly informative, easy quick, love getting it in my email box.
So thank you so much Dustin for joining today. I really appreciate your insight. I probably could have gone another hour into some of the things that you hit on but incredible amount of information that you shared and really appreciate you being on the GovConnect.
Dustin Haisler: Yeah, thanks for having me.
Andrew K Kirk: Well that ends our episode for today. We really appreciate Dustin for joining and talking with us and sharing a lot of information. GovConnect is produced by CitySourced and can be found in Apple podcast, Google Play and all major podcast distribution networks.