The County Voice

More on Innovation and Smart Risk-Taking Strategies

The conversation about innovation at the local level continues!

As we reported on this blog last year, the Institute for Local Government’s board of directors has been pondering what supports and what dissuades innovation at the local level.

A key disincentive to innovation is the unforgiving attitude both the media and the public can have about new strategies that don’t work out as well as everyone hoped. Risk aversion can result: as one ILG board member quipped, it makes everyone want “to be first to be second.”

The board’s discussion prompted CSAC Institute Governing Council member/faculty (and Institute for Local Government brain trust member) Frank Benest to weigh in, based on his many years as a chief executive at the local level.

In his piece: “Is Your Governing Board Stifling Innovation? 12 Tips to Promote Smart Risks,” Dr. Benest looks at ways governing boards can promote innovation and reduce the risks associated with trying new strategies and approaches.

The piece is available from the Institute for Local Government’s website at It is a must-read for local officials that are interested in encouraging new approaches and new kinds of thinking at the local level.

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