Animal Farm (5 Sources Of Resistance To Open Data)

Frequently in literature we see that animals are used to symbolize human personalities. And it occurred to me that in government, there are some types of people whose presence gets in the way of progress.

Of course these are one-dimensional extremes, meant to illustrate a point.

1. The snake

Wants to keep power, works better in the shadows, thus sets about quietly choking transparency advocates to organizational death.

snake and acorns

  2. The rooster

Seeks all the credit for themselves. Toot their own horn, and suppress others' ideas and accomplishments.

rooster cock
Photo by mewwhirl via Flickr

3. The goat

Just complains about everything, sapping the energy of everybody in the room.

Photo by kkirugi via Flickr

4. The chimpanzee

Continually head-scratching, confused, can't figure out what's going on even after nearly five years of movement toward the new. Where they could add momentum, they continually slow it because they just are without a clue.

Photo by David Lewis via Flickr

5. The alligator

Always ready to swallow you whole; their primary motivation is self-protection, and they do not want you looking too closely at what they're doing at any given moment. Abuses the legitimate right to grieve, and is always ready to escalate rather than resolve. (It goes without saying: Of course employees should grieve legitimately, the balance of power is not in their favor.)

Alligator Farm @ St Augustine, FL
Photo by Steve Beger via Flickr

If we are honestly want to improve the way federal government operates, the first thing we should do is find a way to constructively address the problem of employees who impede progress.

* All opinions my own.