City governments all have the same goal: to improve their communities for their citizens in a smarter and more creative way. An issue that local government leaders run into is in creating both cost-effective and efficient solutions to issues that citizens think are important. The best source of innovation and new ideas often comes from internally. Harnessing city employees’ wisdom can prove to be the best way to begin improving a city for all members of the community.
Within the employee pool, there are individuals who will rise above the rest, and emerge as innovation leaders. These leaders who are interested and committed to innovative, new ideas for the city will prove to be instrumental in improving cities. Utilizing these individuals as influencers in their respective departments will promote innovation from within.
Another key to promoting and maintaining innovation is recognizing active participants in the community. Identifying those who are involved and participate in generating and contributing ideas is crucial. This will help in boosting employee satisfaction because their opinions are being heard and acknowledged.
The platform for idea generation and discussion must foster open communication among all groups. Employees across departments and levels should be encouraged to communicate their ideas with one another. Further, decision makers should offer input and participate in these discussions as well. This creates a sense of community and accomplishment that will drive participation.
By integrating government employees in coming up with solutions to city issues, decision makers can determine what issues are of most importance and fast track policies that will address those issues first. Read about how the City of Atlanta crowdsourced ideas from their government employees which resulted in ideas that had a potential cost savings of $7.1 million.
What are some other ideas that local governments can use to include employees in generating creative solutions to city issues?