And so here we go again. Another government minister accused of a "humiliating climb down". Michael Gove is being lampooned in the press today for altering the implementation of the proposed changes to GCSE/High School exams in the UK. The opposition parties are loving it. Its a chance to throw rocks at the throne. The press love it because it makes for dramatic headlines and sells papers.
However, from a Lean Startup perspective this is patently ridiculous. The notion that government ministers cannot change their minds after considering the evidence is strange. This is exactly what we want them to do. It is the sign of a healthy democracy.
The idea that any person in this world can come up with a perfect idea that can not be improved changed or even dropped is ludicrous. This is the same practice that makes bankers and investors expect startup founders to write business plans with precise five-year projections. It's crazy!
All ideas, including those from government ministers should be considered tentative. Then, each idea should be systematically tested against reality to see if it is implementable. If it is not implementable it should be dropped or changed. Even during implementation, government departments should be allowed to iterate ideas in response to the market. And the press should be lining up to congratulate any minister who does this. Otherwise you encourage people to always fight their corner in defence of terrible ideas.
We need more startup practices and agility in government. Or may be I am hoping for too much!