Examination of Four Successes in the Coast Guard's Innovation Program and Implications for Innovation within Homeland Security [open pdf - 653KB]
"Government bureaucracies designed to maintain a stable, fair, and open society are increasingly being outpaced by changing technologies, emerging threats, and shifting priorities. Innovation offers homeland security leaders an effective mechanism to sense emerging patterns, determine positive directions, and rapidly drive process improvements. This thesis examines literature related to leadership, strategic planning, collaboration, and government innovation. It highlights the importance of leadership and collaboration and illustrates how a relatively small number of people can drive significant change. A review of the U.S. Coast Guard's innovation program and four successful projects generated by that program is provided to demonstrate how the literature applies to homeland security agencies. An analysis of the projects identifies how leaders can act in concert to enable government innovation and drive significant capability enhancements and process improvements. Recommendations and conclusions stress the importance of integrating innovation programs with education and process improvement programs and ensuring efforts are aligned with overall agency direction. The thesis also offers recommendations about how the Department of Homeland Security can improve innovation within homeland security by supporting greater collaboration and information sharing between innovators across all homeland security fields."
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