How to be Adaptive in Government


Free Online Workshop | Exclusive for Public Servants & Policymakers



As the complexity of problems facing public servants grows and the pace of change increases, traditional ways of working in the public service need to adapt. A version of ‘adaptability’ appears in almost every government competency framework or success profile all over the world. But what does it really mean to be adaptive, and how much is really possible in government?

This online workshop went beyond buzzwords to give you concrete advice, techniques and tips for making yourself, your team and your department more intentionally adaptive. It was led by a panel of experts who have been thinking, writing and doing adaptive work in government for years.

What you learned:

This workshop equipped public servants and managers with the tools needed to be a public entrepreneur in 21st century government, including:

  • How to cut through bureaucracy and solve problems with learning and experimentation
  • How to become less fearful and take “appropriate risks,” combining bold thinking with evidence and experimentation
  • Ways to be an advocate for culture change within your team or department
  • Tips for developing an adaptive approach based on key principles and methods





Who should register

This workshop is intended for anyone working in government looking to become more adaptive and dynamic at work and/or advocate for culture change within their team or department, from the most junior to the most senior roles.

Who you heard from

You heard from Lea Simpson, the co-founder of innovation firm Brink. Lea is part of LearnAdapt, an advisory group that has been working inside the UK’s Department for International Development to inform how it becomes more adaptive as an organisation. Lea is also Innovation Director for The Global EdTech Hub and leads The Frontier Technologies Hub which won the Civil Service Award for Innovation in 2017.

You also heard from Rowan Conway, the Head of Policy Partnerships at UCL’s newly formed Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose founded by Marianna Mazzacuto. Rowan is the author of Move Fast and Fix Things, which she wrote while at the RSA and is a brilliant mind on public sector intrapreneurialism.