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how did innovators face obstacles and what was their response

After-action Report Instructions— Obstacles in Innovating and Responses to the Obstacles

After-action Report Case

  • The case below is about the nature of work innovators do based on a blog (though the transcript is provided).
  • The readings provide the theoretical basis by author (Sandford Borins… yes, I know what his last name sounds like, but if you got through Torfing, you should sail through this).
    • The IBM Center for the Business of Government is written more generally and accessibly, but it’s longer. You can cut through some of that length by skipping to “Finding Eight: Innovation Continues to Result from Proactive Problem Solving” at the bottom of page 18.
    • The Borins reading in e-Reserve (also below) has some more detailed explanation of these problems.
  • Here is the case:

Gain an understanding of the framework(s) for innovation

What Borins does is to look at the obstacles that innovators face. Here’s his summary table (from the IBM Center for the Business of Government one):

  • He has another table of steps taken in response:
  • It’s possible that you discover obstacles that Borins missed or that you find unique solutions. Chances are, though, given the length of both of those lists, that the obstacles and responses in your case would be recognizable based on the preceding tables.

Write up.

  • Access the case.
  • Discuss how the innovators faced obstacles. Be specific. And indicate what they did in response.
  • Present this as an “after-action report” to an interested party. That could be a hospital association in the case of the medical breakthrough (checklists).
    • An after-action report focuses on lessons learned.
    • The point of an after-action report is to improve the next time anything like this is attempted. So, you’d want to emphasize what issues were handled positively and/or successfully to try to repeat in the future. Also, what wasn’t handled so well: to watch out for and try to improve upon the next time out.
  • About 3 pages, double-spaced.

Below is an attached link to a sample after-action report, although much longer than my required report, but it will provide a blueprint or give an idea of what an after-action report would look like. I’m only required to write 3 pages,but the sample report has 19 pages (please do not feel pressured to apply all the information in the report into the after-action report—the sample report is for informational purposes only).

The link is here:

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