What do Rebels Really Think: Poll Results from GovLoop's NextGen Summit

Late last month I was a keynote speaker at GovLoop's NextGen Summit. If you don't know GovLoop, it's the social network for government employees: federal, state, local. You can listen to a followup interview I did on being a government heretic and find a link to the speech here. During the talk I conducted several live polls of the audience (well over 500 I'm sure of which at least 150 answered every question.) on some key questions about being a rebel/innovator/heretic in government. You'll recognize at least one of the questions as something we've asked here at RebelsatWork. Here's the first question about how you learned you were a rebel. What I find encouraging here is that most people learn before they have a horrible experience at work--good news. What is also interesting is that only 7% of those responding said they did not consider themselves rebels. Although the GovLoop audience trends, I'm sure, toward minor acts of rebellion, it's still interesting how many believe there is a better way.

I also asked about why the audience thought rebels (innovators) fail. What I thought was interesting here where how few in the audience selected lack of funding. I would have thought that number might have been higher in a government audience. It is encouraging that so many believed that doing better is not a function of more money.

Finally came the question about what we can do to improve our chances of success. My choice of options was perhaps not the best and there may have been some anchoring effects in play as I asked this question toward the end of my talk.

The fact so many possible solutions got significant support tells me that there are many ways we could improve rebel outcomes.