Council Innovation

What is Innovation?

“Innovation is finding a way to do something better than it has ever been done before.”

As Thomas Edison said; “There is a way to do it better – find it”

Innovation applies to everything we do, whether that is related to our business life or our life outside work.
But let's focus on applying innovation in the local government work environment.
Innovation provides a process for decision making. Innovation provides a solution. In developing a solution, simple is better and “elegant” is best. Innovation can lead to an elegant solution. Innovation is a continuous improvement process not the “end game”.

Council Innovation

Why shouldn't Councils deliver better services to their communities in the best possible way.
It seems to makes sense that Councils would be looking for ways to provide simple, elegant solutions that improve service delivery.

Innovation involves embracing principles of innovation while developing practices of innovation that will lead to success.

Governments around the world are finding that they need new approaches to solve "old" problems as new service requests increase and funding (in real terms) decreases. A new approach is required.

The American "think tank" (Center for American Progress) has some ideas;

New York City ('NYC') is using Innovation Principles to tap the knowledge of its employees. NYC Simplicity Program

Go to the Forum Page discussion "Innovation in Action" (Forum) and join a discussion of this article and its suggestions.

Innovation is the key.

What is required?

Perhaps Councils in Australia need to follow the US example and produce an Open Government Directive
Open Government Initiative
Councils need to embrace Innovation by;

  1. Ensuring management is on side and understands and embraces "innovation"
  2. Ensuring resources (people and money) are allocated to develop and deliver the 'Innovation process" and innovation practices.
  3. Providing incentives (in performance plans) to ensure staff enthusiasm
  4. Realising that it will take time to develop and implement
  5. Promoting innovation
  6. Starting small and continue with small, managable projects
  7. Allowing "trial and error" (accept that failures will occur)
  8. Persevering
  9. Getting the community involved (on projects that affect them) - once innovation is understood internally. Sometimes the community will take the lead Newcastle and Geelong are innovating
  10. Delivering planned improvements
  11. Marketing successes
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