Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Follow

Contact

5 ways to foster innovation within your organization

OIT's Eliza Pollack speaks at #RiseConf15. December 7, 2015 Category: Method

If anybody knows how to develop and foster a network of innovators within a larger organizational structure in Philadelphia, it’s the Office of Innovation and Technology. Webbing out from the department’s full time staff of seven, the OIT has extended its reach across government departments and out into communities by building from the ground up.

At Technical.ly‘s Rise Conference, Program Manager Eliza Pollack presented a case study examining the methodology behind shaping an innovative and organized culture in steps. Oh, and she did it in five minutes. Here’s what she shared.

1. Focus on basic operations first. 

Simple, but often overlooked — and easily so. Before you start executing your lofty ideas or even begin building the capacity to take those ideas on, make sure the basics are functioning properly. Pollack said that means getting your primary communications channels like email in place before moving onto more innovative, larger projects.

2. Coordinate place, people and process. 

This, Pollack said, is the crux of what the city and OIT have done really successfully.

“We have an Innovation Lab that’s a place for innovation, an Innovation Academy that trains city employees, and a process by way of our Innovation Fund working group that helps folks think through the best ideas,” Pollack said.

3. Create a network of innovators within a larger organization. 

Considering OIT’s full-time staff is a mere seven, they build capacity needed to execute larger projects (i.e. Center City STEM) through the Innovation Academy.

“We’ve created a network of innovators from folks that have graduated from the Innovation Academy,” Pollack said. “We have a core of 75 folks we consider to be part of that network.”

All those city employees have more or less become brand ambassadors for OIT, extending the department’s reach (and subsequently, innovation) across the city’s service offerings.

4. Build capacity and leadership around innovation. 

Pollack said the next step, logically, is to tap the network of resources you’ve created within and outside of your organization. With the right process, little oversight or management is necessary.

From our Partners

Pollack said by allowing Academy grads to become leaders in the innovation space, OIT has given them the ability to take their innovation and leadership to the next level by becoming influencers.

5. Figure out what’s next. 

“In order to keep ourselves interested in innovation, we are always thinking about what’s next,” Pollack said. “If you don’t continue to do new things, you’re not actually innovating.”

Project

Office of Innovation and Technology

Trending News

Participatory Defense Initiatives Combat Racial Inequities and Empower Community Members Laura Duarte Bateman
Healing Minds, Nurturing Futures: Philadelphia Schools Embrace Mental Health Partnerships Amber Douglas
Monday Minute with Brice Armond Patterson Andre Simms

Related Posts

October 6, 2020

Drexel University’s Dr. Frank Lee projects civil dialogue seven stories tall for Philly Tech Week

Read More >
September 23, 2020

At Philly Tech Week, the example of a global nonprofit leveraging tech and human connection to eradicate poverty

Read More >
September 16, 2020

To be a great innovator, learn to embrace and thrive in uncertainty

Read More >