In the last of our innovation series, we discuss the power of information, which is the fuel for innovative organizations and the necessary ingredient to engage with the organization. Information drives decisions on the organization’s performance, and how innovation affects that performance. This information may be readily available through organizational dashboards, disseminated publicly, or attainable from various sources.
The workforce also needs information to execute transformative change, and how best to implement innovations throughout the organization. To create, implement, and make the necessary corrections from innovative activities requires access to detailed and immediate information through feedback mechanisms.
So what are the most important pieces of information the workforce needs? They need to know what innovations are happening, how these innovations will help them perform their jobs better, what innovations are possible, and what is expected of them.
Who then can provide this information? Let the real innovators tell them.
Seeing is believing, and no one wants to take the path of the unknown without someone else paving the way. No memo or speech by leadership can replace real-world experience from frontline staff who explain how they took innovative approaches to accomplishing the agency’s purpose. They help explain the art of the possible, which can then start to change the paradigm throughout the organization so people can begin to see that innovation should be the norm.
Further, having the resources and artifacts available for the workforce is an important tool to also drive change, as acquisition personnel can use what has worked to tailor artifacts for their purposes. Innovative knowledge management must be an important part of an innovative organization, so the workforce has readily available toolkits to innovative.
One important toolkit created for the workforce is the Periodic Table of Acquisition Innovations (PTAI). The PTAI is sponsored by the Office of Federal Procurement Policy OFPP and supported by the contributions of federal agencies. According to the website:
…The Periodic Table of Acquisition Innovations (PTAI) is a collaborative government-industry initiative developed under the ACT-IAC Institute for Innovation to collect and share innovative practices used by government acquisition professionals to facilitate frictionless acquisition. Showcased techniques have demonstrated 1 or more of the following results: accelerated time to award, reduced delivery time, improved customer satisfaction, cost savings and/or reduced barriers to entry. Each technique on the PTAI includes a description, benefits of use, and how-to’s. Unless otherwise stated, each technique may be used with the FAR. The filters and icons illustrate future search capabilities. The goal is to maximize user satisfaction and we welcome your feedback on functionality and usefulness. The PTAI is sponsored by OFPP and supported by the contributions of federal agencies…
Many agencies are effectively documenting processes using toolkits and creating Centers of Excellence for innovation. Process toolkits are an excellent and efficient way to document various steps of key processes, as well as to capture useful templates, examples, and process aids.
Information is critical to innovative. Important to the process is early engagement with internal or external customers to define what innovation looks like, barriers to success, and how sharing information is necessary for transformation.
This series about how innovation happens is a roadmap for how transformation in the public sector is possible. Innovating procurement should never be about just products, services, or focused on corporate functions. It must be embedded in everything an organization does and applied at the juncture of strategic, organizational, and behavioral approaches.
Change is necessary to transform. Be the change.