How to innovate in local government

Freedom From Command And Control /   June 29, 2015 at 8:38 PM 3,155 views

1. Copy The best innovations have been done. Copy practice from another region or country but not from your own organisation. Innovation always looks better from a distance. It looks particularly good in a PDF. Innovation can be emailed over from one organisation to the next in a matter of minutes. The innovation is implemented on receipt. 2. Play safe Play safe when it comes to innovation, especially if there is innovation funding at stake. If you can’t copy someone else’s innovation, carry on exactly as you are and give it a fresh lick of paint. For example, why not replace a table of numbers with an infographic? Tell stories instead of using quotes. Use A3 instead of A4. Up your font offer. 3. Change your hair Innovative people have new hair. Change your hair on the eve of any major innovation. 4. Comply with Best Practice There is a right way and a wrong way to innovate. The right way to innovate is specified in detail by the person who wants to claim credit for the innovation. This could be a government department, think tank or funder. The three current options for innovation are – innovating through collaboration, innovating through technology and innovating through innovative innovation. 5. Use cartoons For your core work, use paragraphs of words and bullet points. For your innovative work, use cartoons, animations and drawings. People need to know what they are looking at. Don’t confuse the two. 6. Think soundbite Your innovation should be repeatable, that is, easy to understand, remember and trot out. Keep your description of the innovation to two or three words, for example, ‘Airborne Complaints’ or ‘Talking bins’. Ideally, the words should rhyme or alliterate, for example ‘Area Apps’, ‘Tweeting Meeting’ or ‘Parking Barking’.  If in doubt, relate your innovation to Apple, Dragon’s Den, the Co-op, Easy Jet or Big Data. Don’t make it boring, messy or difficult. Innovation is shiny, simple and clean. Innovation is a new idea that civil servants can understand, gob off about and claim credit for. It is what the media use to surprise and entertain. 7. Think add-on not take off Don’t take anything away. Reversing established thinking about work is not innovation. Innovating is about adding more on top on the existing.  Innovation must be visible only on the surface and should not trouble or upset anyone. Most of all, it should not change anything.  All the basics should remain the same. If you question the fundamentals, you cease to be innovative. Doing whatever it takes to deliver good public services is not innovation. So stop it. 8. Use social media Say the word Facebook once out loud. Threaten others with Kickfunder, Crowdstarter, Up My Tweet, InstaTwap,  PrezziNote, WhatsaGram, Poodle and Snazzup. Technology is innovation.  Humans are in the past. Sign your council up for everything. Use social media to tell the outside world how innovative you are. Courtesy of Freedom From Command And Control

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