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Cal-IPGCA Program History: 2012-2020

"I have long believed that the future is not just something to experience, it is something to manifest. That our fate and future is inside of us. It is decisions at the end of the day not conditions that determine our fate and future. We are not victims of circumstances, we can make decisions to meet the moments where we need to make tough decisions. We need to bend the curve in the State of California in a tho thoughtful and pragmatic way." –Governor Gavin Newsom - March 22, 2020

Initiating its 9th year of effective and dynamic innovation, California Innovation Playbook for Government Change Agents, Cal-IPGCA - Cohort 2020, is an immersive experiential learning environment where trainees re-imagine enterprise-wide challenges from a whole-systems perspective and unlock elegant, innovative solutions. As members of the Cal-IPGCA virtual community, trainees, also known as innovationists, receive intensive training opportunities to apply their learning immediately in their Moonshot project teams, workplaces, and daily lives. Cal-IPGCA’s virtual community cross-connects government, academia, advocacy, and tech to create a dynamic testbed that is designed to respond to real needs in real-time.

Synergizing participation across all levels of government, from entry-level to senior executives, trainees work in cross-functional teams to develop moonshot projects. At the culmination of the project, each cohort produces an innovation playbook to improve our state’s essential functions. These playbooks include best practices, lessons learned, and a full breadth of analytics. Previous Cal-IPGCA cohort playbooks are available online at www.cal-ipgca.com.

Who Should Apply:

Cal-IPGCA's success is fueled by its multi-generational, diverse ethnic, topnotch professional integration. Trainees accepted into the program represent a broad spectrum of organizational levels, including line staff who are considered rising stars that have management potential: first-line supervisors, middle managers, executives, and executive leadership.

CAL-IPGCA HISTORY - SUMMARY: As with all innovation, the evolution of the California Innovation Playbook for Government Change Agents (Cal-IPGCA) represents an iteration of growth from 2012 through the upcoming 2020 Cal-IPGCA Cohot. We are a "homegrown" State of California program. Many state leaders involved today "signed-on" in 2012 and have continued iterating their leadership involvement. Here’s a reference list covering years of involvement for California Leadership. Until 2016, Cal-IPGCA was under the moniker of the Navigating Leadership Program (NLP). The NLP was a collaborative effort between ORA Systems, Inc., and the Asian Pacific State Employees Association (APSEA) as the primary Executive Sponsor. APSEA remains executive sponsor today. The Department of General Services became the host executive sponsor for the NLP in 2016. At the close of the 2016 Cohort, the Government Operations Agency (GovOps) assumed the mantel of programmatic governmental executive sponsor. In 2017, Cal-IPGCA initiated work-based experiential training covering CalHR's 9 Leadership Values. In 2017, FTB, as a member of the Board of Advisors since 2012, increased their involvement and participation to join GovOps, and DGS as a governmental executive sponsor. In 2019, Cal-IPGA was added to the leadership line-up of recommended annual leadership training for the Franchise Tax Board (FTB). In 2020, Cal-IPGCA was designated as 1-5 Advanced Leadership Development Programs for the Department of Water Resource (DWR). The Cal-IPGCA's history is provided below, inclusive of its earlier iterations as the Navigating Leadership Program (NLP) from 2012-2016.

One System. One Government. One World!

  • Meets the State of California’s biennial leadership training requirements. (GC 19995.4.)

Cohort 2020 Program
Cohort 2020 Innovation Priorities(Includes w/Comparative Infographic)

Event Dates

Schedule and Pricing Only
Cohort 2020 Executive Sponsors
Cohort 2020 Board of Advisors (Identifies years of program involvement)
Cohort 2020 Biographies

California is a Nation-State. We are many parts, but we are one body—there is a mutuality and a recognition of our interdependence. –Governor Gavin Newsom - March 20, 2020

All Innovation priorities for Cohort 2020 will be driven through the lens of emergency response: COVID-19 and Beyond:
Key Overarching Goals
  • To build a partnership between the Cal-IPGCA Program and the Cal-IPGCA Association for the purpose of co-creating a State Agency Collaboration Network (SACNetwork) that can empower and enable employees to rapidly share knowledge, skills abilities, and resources to foster the agile interagency collaboration essential to deliver a California for all.
    • In achieving the above, to establish SACNetwork Human Systems Testbed where its employees' power technology.
  • To build upon the reservoir of outcomes generated by prior Cohorts, e.g., deploy the recommendations that can grow California's capacity to be Government Innovators.
  • To convert Cal-IPGCA's seasoned curriculum to a fully virtual format with a capacity to unite the leadership and workforce of our state government within a dynamic platform that can respond to challenges in real-time.
  • To deploy the Cal-IPGCA curriculum in a manner that can accelerate response to not only COVID related emergency response needs that will continue for an indefinite future but to equally create a capacity to respond to the real-time needs of disaster management in any iteration circumstances might present.
  • To establish a capacity to identify and access the vast skills and capabilities of California's most valuable asset - its people.
  • To establish an infrastructure where the state's workforce can take self-accountability and responsibility for their own employee engagement.
  • To become a beacon of Government Innovation - within California and beyond!
  • To demonstrate the above through data analytics that demonstrates success.
Key Programmatic Goals:
  • Statewide MOU: Through common agreement, it desires to empower and enable government and society to rapidly share knowledge, skills, abilities, and resources that provide a cross-collaborating integration between all state agencies, departments, programs, and constituencies to identify the interdependencies that do and can exist. Its purpose is to accelerate and advance leadership and innovation across our state, while mitigating the redundancy of efforts that, in turn, can enhance the performance and outcomes. SACNetwork captures and fosters agile inter-agency collaboration essential to collectively build, promote, and deliver a California truly for all.
  • Statewide Skillsbank and Emergency Management Beta Test Platform (SERG and Continuity Planning): State government needs a simple way to fortify employee engagement, identify, compile, access, and match employee skills to mission-critical real-time projects and tasks, and cross-connect skills, capabilities and insights to innovate change.
    • Creates a real-time "voluntary" skills and capabilities beta test platform with the ability to model activations during emergency response. Establishes an agile development that further defines systemic modifications necessary to address the dynamic needs identified during activation. (*Minimum participation for this beta test activation is 7500.)
  • Innovation Corp: Test Bed for Best Available Technology: Operationalize Governor Newsom's Innovation Sprint EO: N-04-19 by establishing guideline schematics to establish an Innovation Corps of global collaborative partnerships that create a realtime test-bed and platform for testing the best available technology to meet specific needs identified by government and society. Convene state experts, vendors, entrepreneurs, and scientists to accomplish this task. Create a holistic model of service delivery that is sustainable for future generations.
  • Middle Management Consortium for Innovation and Change: Establish a Middle Management Consortium for Innovation and Change that enables middle management to co-creatively develop their skill sets, toolsets, and mindsets around government innovation post-COVID-19. The objective is to develop the consortium to establish middle management as a command central launchpad for innovation and change across the State of California.
  • Ambassador Corp for Homeless Kids: Develop the “RiseUp Ambassador Corp” for homeless and at-risk children and youth. The RiseUp Ambassador Corp will develop an integrated, holistic whole systems approach to provide mentors, (including young adults, compelled advocates, seniors, etc.), and networks that span communities and create ports of entry for wrap-around social services to be administered. RiseUp Ambassadors will encourage these children to step past “what is” in their world to see “what can be.”
  • Establish Teleworking Best Practices: Equip government leaders with a knowledge-sharing mechanism to discover, contribute, and share actionable best practices and lessons learned for remote employment. This goal will be achieved through a focus of pulling together the best available practices associated with statewide Teleworking.

Each link provides video outcomes. Each Moonshot project features the teamed Whitepaper.

Note: PDF links are provided in a printable format.

Key Goals: Cal-IPGCA Cohort 2019 proposed collective outcome – the development of an authentic forum for State employees to collaborate -- a State Agency Collaboration Network (SACNetwork) comprised of people, processes, tools, and training—to empower and enable employees to rapidly share knowledge, skills, abilities, and resources; and foster the agile interagency collaboration essential to deliver a California for All.
  • Create a systemic approach to deploy the strategic vision of California Leadership into rank and file in collaboration with deploying the operating components to initiate operationalization of Governor Newsom's Innovation Sprint EO: N-04-19.
  • Refine and document a robust Cal-IPGCA Curriculum that can be scaled for statewide deployment.
  • Collaboratively, the below reference outcomes combine to achieve the aforementioned overarching goals:
    • Champion Summits: Two Champion Summits guided the moonshot teams with their strategic advisory where 1600 data points were achieved and documented. Champions are both state and private enterprise leaders and SMEs that provide strategic direction to projects. Because there is a shared interest in the project outcome. The use of champions heightens deployment opportunities because buy-in is built-in. The Summits were hosted on August 8 at the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) and again on September 5 at CalOES. These events brought a combined total of 37 Champions; 10 for the August 8 Event and 27 for the September 5 event at CalOES.
    • One System. One State. One World: (Reference "Innovation Force" Outcome Report) Develop an overarching systemic approach to management statewide projects The goal of the Innovation Force is to provide a cross-collaborating integration between all innovation priorities and teams to identify the interdependencies that exist. Its purpose is to reduce redundancy of effort to enhance the performance and outcome of all. Combining two members from each innovation team, the Innovation Force was an overarching team effort of Cohort 2019.
      • Analytical Outcomes: These are the analytic outcomes achieved through the efforts of the Innovation Force.
      • The Cal-IPGCA Hackathon is a 1-day event in the 5th month of the program. The Hackathon is central to deploying the capacity to bring academia, NGOs, and private sector technologists into the Cal-IPGCA program. It is at the forefront of trailblazing the integration of new technological capabilities into state service that can accelerate the government's ability to move at the pace of change. Hacking at its best is creative problem-solving. It’s intentional that the Hackathon is conducted late in the Cohort calendar as its purpose is not to design the solution but to enhance the outcome. ( Event Video - Hackathon Data)
    • Change Challenge Forums: The Cal-IPGCA Change Challenge Forums feature panel discussions by government leaders to share their individual and collective experience on reimagining government—what can be as opposed to what has been. These forums ignite and inspire the Moonshot teams by providing strategic insight and wisdom for project integration and discussion. (Reference: 4 Leadership Change Challenge Forum Panels, Covering Moonshot Projects, Change Leadership, Risk Management, and Data Upskilling. )
    • Experiential Learning - LMS Based: Cal-IPGCA deployed the GovOps-CalHR 9 Leadership Values through work-based LMS Training modules. The 36 5-Minute Training Modules featured state leadership as they each articulated a lesson that trainees were instructed “incubate” as applied outcomes –demonstrated in their personal and professional lives and teamed innovation projects. Individual Innovation Playbooks document results! These videos were released on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings of each week during the 5-month training series. (Reference: Experiential Learning Analytic Outcomes - 36 Modules)
    • Moonshot Projects: Cal-IPGCA 2019 cohort trainees (innovationists) were each assigned to one of the 4 Moonshot teams (+ a fifth combined IP - the Innovation Force). Under the guidance and direction of a team facilitator and facilitator assistants, each Moonshot team strove to develop outcomes that embraced exponential rather than incremental improvement. They developed their project based on an IP over the course of the 6-month program and presented their proposed solution at the Day of Innovation for deployment consideration. Moonshot teams were also guided by Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) as well as project champions, program sponsors, advisors and management. The collective teamed outcomes were published in a Cohort-wide “Innovation Playbook.”
    • The common ground the IP outcomes reached was the need for a "Single Sign-on" which in basic nomenclature refers to a unified statewide systems approach. The second common ground represented in each was the creation of a Skills Bank. Each IP identified the need for a statewide Skills Bank for different reasons, but all saw the necessity.

The SACNetwork and the innovation outcomes of all 4 Innovation Teams is described in this "Next Steps" Outcomes report.

We are the Change

Linked Innovation Playbook

Innovation Priorities

Executive Sponsors

Board of Advisors


Key Goals:

Cohort 2018 trainees were tasked to innovate moonshot outcomes for 5 Innovation Priorities (IPs) contributed by State of California leadership.

The moonshot projects were developed over a 5-Month timeframe, conducted via one training class per month. The teamed IPs represented enterprise-wide challenges facing the State of California. The innovation team construct was designed as an integrated environment that was culturally, departmentally, and professionally diverse. Each IP and Innovation Project assimilated the full-force of Cal-IPGCA’s Innovation Cycle and its LMS Curriculum within the construct of its Moonshot Projects.

Our Moonshot Teams were led by our Innovation Facilitators. Each Facilitator was supported by a “Facilitation Assistant”. Under an 80-Hour training program, Cal-IPGCA Facilitation Assistants worked hand-in-hand and were mentored by our trained Cal-IPGCA facilitators. Cal-IPGCA graduated 6 Facilitation Assistants in its inaugural introduction of this program in Cohort 2018. Meet Cohort 2018 Trainees, Facilitators and Facilitation Assistants. Our teams are presented in the sequence of presentation at the Cal-IPGCA Day of Innovation.


Cal-IPGCA Executive Summary

Comprehensive 2017 Cohort Flipbook

Insights on Innovation: Flipbook - PDF


California Government Operations Agency: Cal-IPGCA Cohort 2017 represented the first year that the California Government Operations Agency (Cal-GovOps) assumed a leadership oversight role as an executive sponsor.
Key Goals:
  • The Cal-IPGCA Program transitioned from its former name and operational format as the Navigating Leadership Program (NLP). The NLP represented the originating program format that was under the executive sponsorship of the Asian Pacific State Employees Association.
  • At the direction of GovOps, the Cal-IPGCA program was to model a curriculum that was designed by Bloomberg Philanthropies, entitled: The City Hall Innovation Team Playbook.
  • Create a framework where trainees would receive, as a program deliverable:
    • 1. Individual innovation playbooks and teamed moonshot innovation playbooks
    • 2. Teamed Moonshot Playbooks
    • 3. Initiating with Cohort 2017 and with each subsequent iteration of Cal-IPGCA, trainees received both of the above.

The 2017 Overarching design format included:

  • Breakdown real and imaginary silos that limit maximizing utilization of the state’s high priority

resources – its programmatic and physical assets, and its most valuable asset – the state’s workforce.

  • The Innovation Playbook for Government Change Agents 2017 Cohort was comprised of 78

trainees representing 13 State of California departments. Fifty of the 78 Trainees participated

full-time, and 28 work-based partners participated on a part-time basis. Participating

departments included CALFIRE, CalOES, CalVet, CCHSC, CDCR, CDT, DOC, DGS, DOR, DWR, EDD,


  • Certificates of distinction were awarded to 20 trainees from 11 departments based on

completed work-based training, initiative, team participation, and attendance.

  • Cal-IPGCA’s training base was comprised of leaders nominated for participation from AGPA to

executive-level – from less than one year of employment to 30 years of employment.

  • The teamed environment was diversified by department, age, ethnicity, gender and


  • Trainees participated without title; everyone had equal voice and value – everyone a leader.
  • There was a safe-harbor for innovation to occur created through the program’s executive leadership and reinforced at every spectrum of program management.
KEY OUTCOME: The KEY OUTCOME and deliverable of Cohort 2017 was the organization of the Cal-IPGCA Association initiated by a group of approximately 10 trainees. These trainees have moved forward to become the founding officers of the Cal-IPGCA Association. As of June 2020, the Association has 356 active members and represents 56 departments across the State of California. The Cal-IPGCA Association has progressed to step into collaborative leadership with the Cal-IPGCA Program to implement the State Agency Collaboration Network (SACNetwork.)

2017 Innovation Priorities - Outcome Report

2017 Innovation Priorities (Reference: Outcome Report for linked files)

-Risk Management
-Risk Aversion
-Change Management
-Executive Retention and Knowledge Transfer
-Implied and Unconscious Bias
-Data-Driven Management and Storytelling

Navigating Leadership Program (NLP) History

Boot Camp 2016 Program

Boot Camp 2016 Leadership

Boot Camp 2016 Sponsors

Boot Camp 2016 Trainees

Innovation Moonshot Rocket

Innovation Outcomes Executive Summary and Info-Graphic

Leadership Backstories

NLP: 2012-2016 Summary Overview

NLP 2016: The Intrapreneurs Innovation Boot Camp

Key Goals:

To generate a real-time understanding of intra­preneurship and rapid innovation from a premise of creating five independent but interdependent teamed moonshots that formulate exponential improvements in government as it reaches out to serve its constituent community. This program created a common language that integrated, as standardized pillars, GovOps and Cal-HR’s leadership philosophies, values, skills, and competencies. The skills developed throughout this training series were applied to create six different use cases. Collaboratively, the over-arching program outcomes combined to recommend replication models through the formulation of the California Mobile Innovation Strike Team (CalMIST).

Integrating the activities and outcomes of 2012, 2013 and 2014, the NLP Intrapreneurs’ Innovation Bootcamp NLP 2016 was an immersive, real-time training program designed to teach state employee intrapreneurs specific transformational lead­ership skills that are critical in our ever-accelerating digital society. Each month, panels of leaders framed the strategic direction of where California’s leadership is heading. These panels informed and guided the intrapreneurial rapid inno­vation activities that ensued to build a 4th Wave government. This 5-month, 43-hour training program was sponsored by the California Department of General Services (DGS) in col­laboration with the co-sponsorship of California Department of Human Resources (CalHR) and 8 agency - departmental training partners. Using a facilitated, experiential, real-time innovation format, 66 trainees teamed in groups of thirteen to reimagine government by challenging the status quo and breaking new ground in building a human-centric, communi­ty-centric society through an approach defined as 10x rapid innovation.

Kern, Alameda and San Joaquin Google Innovation Labs.

Day of Innovation – Intrapreneurs Innovation Boot Camp 2016.

Introduction of County Leadership: Daniel Kim

Trainer – Google Innovation Labs 2015

Key Goals:
From May of 2015 through October of 2015, ORA Systems served as a trainer and a member of the Google Eco System to support the development and implementation of Google’s Innovation Labs in Alameda, Kern and San Joaquin County. The labs are designed to provide a forum that trains local governments to reinvent how they provide services to their constituents. ORA Systems team members assisted the participating county leadership in facilitating their innovation outcomes.
ORA Systems - Integrated Activities – May 26, 2016
Facilitated and managed by ORA Systems, the outcomes and lessons learned from these three 2015 innovation labs formulated a “Day of Innovation” Panel for the State of California Agency and Departmental leadership and its innovation trainees. These three counties participated in Reimaging Government – Building a Community-Centric and Human-Centric Society as a culminating event for the Intrapreneurs Innovation Boot Camp 2016. (Reference: Programs for the Intrapreneur’s Innovation Boot Camp Outcomes 2016 Video Series.)

Integration and Innovation in Government Program, Speakers, Sponsors

Integration and Innovation Summary Report

The Whole is Greater than the Sum of its Parts : Martin Hoshino, Administrative Director, Judicial Council of California

Collective Vision: John Chiang, Treasurer, State of California

2014: Comprehensive Video Library: California Agency and Department Back Stories + Innovative Projects and Programs

Navigating Leadership Program (NLP) 2014: Integration and Innovation in Government

Key Goals:

Predicated on a 10x model of innovation, we developed 17 organizational backstory videos that communicated the heart and soul of the organizational ethos. This integrated with a secondary year-long activity that communicated and video-taped the agency or department’s most integrative and innovative project or program, embracing the overarching mission and vision of the organizations (departments and agencies). The culminating event generated a panoramic vision of government. This resulted in integrative-innovative outcomes holistically depicting California’s $2 trillion+ economy – the 6th largest economy in the world!

Via a 30 member key-leadership advisory board, NLP 2014 initiated an immersive 10x Moonshot training program. Our top-down, bottom-up and across the middle approach redefined leadership and innovation as it impacted California’s state workforce. A key focus of this program was transitioning employee (human) skillsets that must shift to function with integrity, proficiency, and real-time accountability in a technical world that exists in constant change. This required a holistic approach that supported empowering all levels of government simultaneously in its service to society.

Conversations in Leadership Program

The 10-20-30 Rule of Leadership – Howard Schwartz, Chief Deputy Director, CalHR

The Character of Leadership – A Back Story - Robert Barton, Inspector General, Office of the Inspector General, OIG

The ABC’s of Leadership – A Back Story, Joseph Farrow, Commissioner, CHP

The Ying-Yang of Leadership – A Back Story Juney Lee, Chief Deputy Director, California Department of Rehabilitation, DOR

Navigating Leadership Program (NLP) 2013: Conversations in Leadership

Explored the premise that leadership is less about power and more about influence. The series called for contributing our personal best from where we stand.
Key Goals:
To hone the art and the science of the personal backstory as one of the most powerful tools in defining and refining our character of leadership – in our personal lives as it bridges into our jobs and out into the world. The program utilized key state leaders to teach the transformational qualities of the backstory as it informs an integrated and holistic leadership approach that is unique to each individual. This honed our intrinsic characteristics of leadership to enhance our intuitive agility to perform in a real-time world, defining our authentic leadership style.

Navigating Leadership in a Changed World - Program and Speakers

Navigating Leadership Sponsors

Team Building – Beyond Collaboration , Karen Ross, Secretary, California Food and Agriculture Agency

Back Story of Leadership – Either You Are Part of the Problem or Part of the Solution: Mark S. Ghilarducci, Director, California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services

Back Story of Leadership – Tapping into Childhood Experiences: Anna Caballero, Secretary, Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency (Retired)

Back Story of Leadership – Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way: Peter J. Gravett, Secretary, Dept. of Veterans Affairs (Retired)

Whole Systems in a Virtual Economy , Rebekah Christensen, Founder - CEO, ORA Systems

NLP 2012: Navigating Leadership Challenges in a Changed World

Spanning one-year of collaborative development, this framework was designed as a "working model" to demonstrate an accelerating societal shift underway that transforms people and economies (personal, professional and community) from the old paradigm of hierarchical leadership and management to the new paradigm of whole-systems; e.g., collaborative and integrated management.
Key Goals:
To demonstrate the opportunities that the challenge of change creates – in people, organizations, and in California’s economy; to initiate the "back story" as an overarching tool that defines the character of leadership in us all.