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IQM2 Innovation Week: How to Foster Innovation (Part 2 of 2)

March 20, 2014
by Jacque Porte
IQM2 Sales & Marketing

Is Your Governing Board Stifling Innovation?

Part 2 of this week’s series focuses on the second half of Benest’s recommendations for encouraging innovation at your agency.

Take action before every question or concern has been addressed. Avoid the temptation to send innovative proposals back to draft until they are perfect—often the most successful organizations are those who allow projects a period of “fixing-up” as they are implemented.

Partner with a non-governmental group and spread the risk. Non-governmental partners can bring alternative funding sources and a new perspective on ideas, and risk always becomes more tolerable through risk-sharing.

Take an incremental approach to risk and innovation. Your organization can reduce risk by taking incremental steps towards a goal, allowing for numerous opportunities to retreat or continue on before a full commitment is made. Often these early steps require a comparatively small financial investment, further reducing the risk.

Be transparent about results, yet be reasonable in any criticism. Ensure staff discloses any failures and make helpful suggestions to achieve the intended goal.

Debrief the experience with staff and the community. Throughout the project and at its conclusion, ask the following questions: What has gone well? What has not gone well? How did we respond to inevitable problems? What did we learn for the future?

Celebrate “fabulous flops.” Celebrating audacious efforts, even those that fall flat, encourage staff and partners to experiment even if they fail.

Of course, you can enjoy innovation without the risk with IQM2. Our products can help you streamline your agendas and live-stream your meetings to benefit your internal processes so that you can focus on the innovative projects that will invigorate your community.

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