Long distance relationships are never easy. This is especially true of large-scale organizations which are housed in multiple and varied locations. Sometimes differing locations will have differing needs but more often they have similar struggles. Like the Western Australia Police.
The Western Australia Police recently began using IdeaScale as a method of conquering that distance; namely a distance that covers over 2.5 million square kilometers, including 11 districts and 197 police stations in both urban and rural areas. As a result of their Frontline 2020 initiative, the WAP feels more connected and collaborative than ever. The kilometers between are hardly noticeable with the centralized digital meeting spot to recommend better ways of working, solutions to problems, and collaborate with fellows—regardless of physical location. It also allows workers the opportunity to note the similarities amongst themselves, to realize that they are not as isolated as they might physically feel sometimes.
As Deputy Commissioner Steven Brown relayed, one of the best outcomes of Frontline 2020 has been the ability for all members of their workforce to have one central location to identify “the things that make it hard for them to get their jobs done,” things which the Deputy Commissioner says are often easy to fix once they are known. In essence, the program allows for everyone in the community to feel heard and respected in the process. Moreover, the WAP emphasizes their appreciation for the participation of their workforce by responding to every suggestion, and incentivizing with the possibility for small prizes.
In addition to a more engaged, collaborative workforce, the ideas coming from Frontline 2020 have already had a positive impact on the administrative and logistical side as well, saving thousands of hours of work time.
To find out more about the Western Australia Police and Frontline 2020, click here to download the recent case study.
Greetings IdeaScale followers,
I wanted to let you know that we’ll ’ll be moving our blog to ideascale.com/blog and that your subscriptions will hopefully be going along with us. This is because, while you will continue to receive email notifications of new posts as before, WordPress.com followers will only see new posts in the Reader. You will not receive email updates unless you subscribe to receive those on your new site here: http://ideascale.com/blog/
Looking forward to sharing lots of new insights and ideas about innovation!
Ever wanted to change the world from the comfort of your own home? You may have a chance to do just that.
A new global innovation ecosystem will soon make its debut. Utilizing a dedicated community site CauseTech.Net, powered by IdeaScale, the “Succeed Where There’s a Need” campaign promotes social entrepreneurship and aims to aggregate the world’s best and brightest. The focus is specifically on helping UNICEF scale its efforts to meet the ever-growing needs of the poorest and most vulnerable and excluded children across 150 countries.
CauseTech.net suggests five big challenges that the campaign is trying to address: lack of access to water, lack of access to education, lack of access to electricity, lack of access to sanitation, and lack of access to health care. You can also see examples of innovations that are already working to improve these situations, including a self-powered streetlight and a water generator that produces drinking water from air.
UNICEF is joined in partnership by the Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network and the Global Renewable Energy & Environmental Network (GREEN), as well as a number of other esteemed partners and affiliates. At every level—from an individual who might have an innovative idea to private sector partners who can help fund the scaling of projects—there is an opportunity to support the initiative.
Dr. Sharad Sapra, the director of the UNICEF Global Innovation Center, said of the campaign, “Our development strategy is to be the connector between all the relevant actors in the value chain, to ensure innovative solutions can be successfully implemented and scaled across regions and contexts. Achieving our goal of reaching every child requires disrupting ‘business as usual.’ New ways of thinking have to be developed. Assumptions and strategies must change. That’s why innovation is so important.”
Dr. Sapra talks about CauseTech in this video about the program:
The platform will allow for ongoing ideation, but will also run timed contests curated by UNICEF Innovation teams. The first official contest will focus on alternative energy solutions for Burundi, a country where only three percent of the population is connected to the electricity grid.
You can find out more by visiting CauseTech.Net.
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?
Startups are some of the most successful and innovative businesses out there right now. Their very nature makes them primed for innovation programs and effective development of new ideas. Even if your organization is not a startup, there are invariably things that you can learn from the models presented by the startup ecosystem.
RocketSpace, a tech campus located in the Bay Area, has an open innovation consultancy which is specifically aimed at helping brands understand how startups work, how to work with them, and how to work like them.
With well-known alumni like Uber and Spotify, RocketSpace is well acquainted with the factors that go into creating a successful and recognizable startup. They are also ready to connect organizations with startups that might specialize in a desired area. After all, why start from scratch when there’s already somebody doing the thing that you want to do, and doing it better than you could do?
Join us on Wednesday, June 3 as we talk with Nick Davis at RocketSpace and Mat Fogarty at IdeaScale about innovation programs in our webinar, From Ideation to Incubation. Click here to register and learn more information. The webinar will address the 3 I’s of innovation, the 4 reasons that idea execution is difficult, how to de-risk new ideas, and how innovators can build their next big thing with RocketSpace. It will also feature a live Q&A.
Here’s one weird thing about customer satisfaction: it may be that your employees have the key to improving it. After all, employees are the people who interact with customers on a day-to-day basis, and are most aware of common concerns amongst customers, as well as improvements that will have the biggest impact. Further, employees have knowledge of the structure and resources of the organization from the inside, so they are better equipped to recommend practical changes.
Banchile Inversiones, a Chilean management company that provides one of the largest mutual funds markets and stock brokerage businesses in the country, has firsthand experience with this phenomenon of employee feedback to improve customer satisfaction. Like many other companies, they had long welcomed employee input through antiquated systems like email and evaluations, but found those systems difficult to scale up. In an effort to continue to gather great ideas, and to ensure that employees felt heard, Banchile started using IdeaScale.
Perhaps their most effective strategy was the extensive planning and design surrounding the implementation of the innovation initiative. Not only did they have a system in place for gathering and evaluating ideas, they also created a comprehensive strategy to stimulate internal engagement. The latter is especially important when you are introducing a completely new feedback system within your company. Banchile had a three-pronged approach: a CEO announcement at annual company meeting; email with a link to the community to every employee; and a method of rewards for involvement.
In addition to this internal marketing approach, the team also responded to every idea that was put forth. Combined, these efforts impressed upon employees an appreciation of their input and incentive to continue to participate.
As a result, Banchile was able to identify five new projects through their first campaign that will help to improve customer satisfaction company-wide.
To read more about how Banchile Inversiones enacted their innovation campaigns, and about the five new projects which were implemented, download our recent case study here.
More and more these days, great organizations are employing innovation programs. These organizations have come to realize that, in order to stay relevant, it’s imperative to continue evaluating and growing.
While deciding to incorporate an innovation program may be an easy decision, deciding the structure and strategy surrounding that program can be more difficult. How do you encourage and foster good ideas? What do you do with new ideas once they’ve surfaced? What is the best way to evaluate ideas? The questions abound.
RocketSpace, a technology campus in San Francisco, makes a point of observing and understanding the things that make startups effective, and then incorporating those things into other organizations or connecting those organizations to startup partners. They have found that starting with a great innovation strategy can make all the difference. Knowing how you are going to deal with ideas, and how to foster them into real, practical applications is essential to the success of an innovation program.
Don’t miss our webinar with RocketSpace, From Ideation to Incubation, on Wednesday, June 3. Click here to register and find out more information. Among other topics, the webinar will include a live Q&A where you can get advice from and connect with innovators from RocketSpace and IdeaScale.
Innovation seems to be the buzzword these days when it comes to technology, business, policy, and everything in between. The Partnership for Public Service, Deloitte, and Hay Group recently released their 2014 report on the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government. The top ranked agencies, NASA, the State Department, and the Commerce Department have remained constant for the past two years. These agencies have also consistently ranked higher than their other government counterparts for innovation. Why are government agencies focused so heavily on innovation lately?
As the government is experiencing budget cuts, agencies need innovative ideas to create more efficient and improved services and ways of doing business. However, federal agencies often face a number of challenges other than limited budgets; lack of employee engagement, low levels of employee motivation, traditional policies, and an absence of new ideas all impede an agency’s ability to advance. Focusing efforts on innovation is an opportunity for agencies to address and overcome these challenges.
What are some other reasons governments are innovating?
•Attract more potential employees. Millennials look for workplaces that have reputations of innovation and creativity when looking for jobs
•Increase your employees’ satisfaction by rewarding innovative ideas
•Increase employee engagement with new projects and policies
Read more about government agencies that are working to implement innovation into their ways of doing business and how IdeaScale fostered a platform of ideas that ended up saving the government $42 million by 2014. What opportunities do these agencies have to further improve and to save the government more in the future?
Are you considering utilizing an open innovation platform within your organization? Are you planning to build that platform yourself?
Well, you might want to reconsider whether the decision to build your platform is the best one for you. A recent IdeaScale case study focused on Citrix, a multinational software company, which has had a company mandate in place since 2001 to gather internal and external new ideas.
After outgrowing the previous model of feedback via email, Citrix decided it made the most sense to implement an open innovation platform. Like many other organizations, Citrix had it in mind to build and use their own platform. It makes sense, right? They’re already a software company, and they surely have all of the skills needed in order to create something of that nature.
However, Citrix quickly realized that their company-built platform was not as feasible as they imagined; most notably, the costs of maintaining the system were much higher than anticipated. But Citrix was in luck, because they found IdeaScale and never looked back.
In addition to the cost-considerations, there are five other big reasons that it might make more sense to buy—rather than build—your open innovation platform:
1. Less time to market implementation.
2. IdeaScale provides the experts for troubleshooting and maintenance.
3. Greater agility to customize, and less time to do so.
4. Increased ability to scale up or down as needed.
5. Higher probability of polished and aesthetic end product.
What more do you need to convince you? You can read more about Citrix and their experience with IdeaScale in this recent case study.
Have you ever had an idea that would make the city you live in better? Chances are you have. Did you have the opportunity to share your idea with the decision makers of your city, and feel like you were heard? Chances are you haven’t, which is kind of strange given that citizen city planning is one of the most effective, useful, advantageous options for city planning.
In an IdeaScale study, three particular advantages to crowdsourced planning were surfaced: quicker changes, less risky changes, and appreciated improvements.
In December, we looked more in depth at a government agency that exemplified the two latter advantages. The Fairfax County Parks Authority recently entered a multiple-stage campaign to acquire ideas, evaluate, and enact improvements to the parks. This campaign will allow for the Parks Authority to be sure that changes are appreciated; after all, if the changes were suggested by citizens, those citizens are likely to appreciate them! Further, if citizens have the opportunity to examine the ideas put forth by the Parks Authority itself, those citizens are more prepared for the potential outcomes and are able to provide input along the way.
While the Fairfax County Parks Authority is moving slowly and steadily through the process, there are definitely instances where the “quicker changes” advantage applies. For example, the planning initiative in Huntsville, Alabama served to affirm some changes which were already in the pipeline, and could be accelerated as a result of confirmation from the population that the ideas were on the right track.
The big question is, seeing evidence of these positive outcomes, why would governments NOT crowdsource with their citizens to make community improvements?
To read more about the benefits of citizen city planning, including specific city examples, download Citizen City Planning: Collaborating with Citizens for a Better City.