What if government operated more like a start-up?

The Intelligence Service: Strategy, Service Design & Events

A serious business. Art direction and careful service design at play.

After months of looking at government projects with mixed results, we wondered: How can government and small business better combine? We asked Code for Australia for their perspective. From working with government for many years they found bringing divergent thinking to all forms of government is hard. The question from the group became, “How might we reconfigure the procurement process to bring better results for society?”

Come together

Almost to a person, startups told us they needed to be in the room with government to feel they have any chance of being considered for a job. For government, it would be rare to take a chance on an untested supplier without personal experience of them. It looked like the best approach was to bring the two groups together. So we started thinking about ways to increase trust and reduce fear of the unknown.

Making the organisation a joyful experience starts with careful design.

“This is good. Seriously good.”

— Russell Howcroft, PwC

Building excitement involved a bit of mystery and a fair bit of manilla stationery.

Spies like us

The concept of The Intelligence Service was to increase anonymity but force intimacy. The brand was developed for a pilot event called Mission X where we brought together people from government and startups with common interests. We asked them to work on a big challenge for society under the cover of a secret organisation. The first test of creating an environment to aid cooperation was very promising with each of the activities well received. 

What evidence do spies leave behind? Good ideas, it turns out…

Mission X

We can’t say too much about the nature of the mission but insights into what government look for in new supplier partners were revealed. For startups, empathy around the culture of government increased with recognition that there are fellow dreamers and thinkers on the other side too. With the mission over some good connections were made over dinner. The participants even continued their conversations at a nearby bar after the event without us.

Participants have had a lot to say and share, but we can’t show you their faces.

“I think having an injection of perspective from a less constrained space, and bringing their experience of ‘getting shit done’ into places is vital.”

— Agent Sportcoat, Mission Mayflower

Putting aside roles and organisations to focus on what matters.

Skills, people and details

Tess Copeland
Senior Designer and Art Director

Warren Davies
Strategist and Copywriter

Georgie Batt
Design Director

Lily Feng
Senior Producer

Matt Sawkill
Event staging

Cassitie Galliot
Event staging

Ashleigh Reynolds
Event staging

Strategy, Art Direction, Copywriting, Branding, Design, Marketing, Production, Event Management

Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable (#11)