In my role as Government Innovation Officer (GIO) for the Commonwealth, there are several ways in which I help move the innovation agenda forward within the Commonwealth’s various agencies.
One category of activity entails my dialoguing with agency leaders to identify opportunities for innovation, and then launching projects that address those areas. We are pleased to have assembled an initial portfolio of significant projects, and we are making excellent progress on them. Governor Patrick’s January 2013 budget proposal contained a section entitled “Innovations to Improve Operations” which lists those initial projects. We have already implemented several of these projects, while other projects are underway. From time to time, we will be describing some of these projects in the Mass Innovation Blog.
Another category of my activity entails me sharing with Commonwealth employees to help them learn ways in which THEY can be innovative regarding how they approach their jobs and objectives. Recently I spoke at a “PM Connect” meeting, which is a quarterly gathering of Commonwealth program managers. About 40 leaders attended, and I had the opportunity to share with them on a variety of innovation topics. I began by recapping examples of how individuals and organizations across our country have increased their productivity by leveraging innovation, and pointed out that our collective challenge is to ensure that the Commonwealth is at the forefront of leading these changes. We touched on the five stages of e-government, and also spent time learning about some interesting government innovation principles described in a new book, Citizenville, by Gavin Newsom.
The leaders in attendance were very enthusiastic and receptive to the innovation principles shared, and readily received one of our key messages, which is that “Innovation is a team sport!” (No-one creates a successful innovation alone.)
I also described “Innovator’s DNA,” which (as described by Clayton Christensen) is “The ability to make connections between seemingly unconnected things.” (For example, a calligraphy class inspired Steve Jobs’ emphasis on typography in early Macintosh computers.)
Here are some techniques to stimulate such innovative connections. You can remember them with the acronym NOOQE which you can pronounce like the word “nuke.”):
- Networking: Interact with people from different backgrounds and different ways of thinking.
- Originating: Think outside the box by talking to someone who plays in a different box.
- Observing: Watch the world around you for surprising stimuli.
- Questioning: Ask probing questions which impose or remove constraints.
- Experimenting: Consciously try new things or go to new places.
The below video provides a quick taste of our session:
2013 Annual Report of the Office of the Government Innovation Officer (OGIO) posted on Dec 12
The last year has been productive and exciting for the Patrick administration as we have moved forward on our innovation agenda within Massachusetts state government. During Fiscal Year 2013 (FY13), the following activities were completed: Assessed needs and “opportunities for innovation” among the Commonwealth executive …Continue Reading 2013 Annual Report of the Office of the Government Innovation Officer (OGIO)
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The Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority’s (MBTA) mTicket is a first-in-the-nation mobile ticketing app which supports an end-to-end smartphone ticketing system and serves all commuter rail lines and ferries across the state. mTicket is comprised of customer-facing apps for both iOS and Android phones, conductor validation …Continue Reading MBTA App Puts Ticketing in the Palm of Your Hand
Becoming Agile posted on Aug 6
The Patrick Administration is tirelessly pursuing innovation in state government to improve service delivery to residents and to save taxpayers’ money. Several times a year, the Commonwealth hosts a project management forum (“PM Connect”), where project management experts share best practices on key topics. A …Continue Reading Becoming Agile