Building a better government is not limited to “innovation professionals.” Great ideas come from all walks of life and innovation works best for everyone when everyone can participate and provide feedback. Incentives, accountability, and a sense of urgency can encourage the government and the public to work on and collaborate towards meaningful solutions. Identify and replicate proven methods that deliver more responsive and effective results; explore opportunities to apply them to your work. To enable innovators of all kinds, regularly question your methods and think about how you can do your work better.

Questions to Ask

  • How can you inspire disengaged employees/colleagues to want to innovate?
  • Is your work effective in producing the intended results?
  • Which potential areas for improvement can you identify?
  • How can you implement an idea when you lack required resources or skills?
  • Do you see any other agencies or entities conducting work more effectively?
  • What aspects of other agencies’ successes are transferrable to your agency?
  • What resources are available to help facilitate solutions?
  • Are the innovative methods you are implementing having a positive effect? If not, how can you more effectively facilitate change?
  • Are you/is your leadership fostering an innovative environment?
  • What is the business case for investing in training on innovation?
  • Are staff members encouraged to offer solutions?
  • What changes can be made to your office environment that would make it more conducive to innovation?
  • How do you foster a sense of urgency without creating stress (which can reduce innovation)?

Checklist

  • Regularly evaluate your work to determine whether you are most effectively delivering your intended results.
  • Identify potential areas for improvement. If you are not sure, ask coworkers, or, if possible, your “customers” for their opinion.
  • Identify existing solutions and evaluate their potential for impact in your office.
  • Identify incentives to foster innovation in your office.
  • Identify quick wins that can help obtain leadership buy-in.
  • Identify people (colleagues, supervisors, and leadership) and resources to help facilitate your solutions.
  • Identify proven solutions and pilot them.
  • Implement your solutions.
  • Regularly evaluate the success of your solutions and whether other areas for improvement have arisen as a result of innovation.
  • Encourage open dialogue about areas for improvement and innovative solutions.