Although it may be difficult to remember, try to think back to last year—a whole month ago—when we announced our 2015 Innovation Management Award winners. Back then, we pointed out two commonalities between our three winners, two things that they focused on when engaging in their crowdsourcing campaigns: inclusivity and transparency, and an improvement in the quality of life.
Inclusivity and Transparency
Inclusivity and transparency were important to our winners this year. Whether it was working to ensure that everyone is able to participate in a system that directly impacts them, or endeavoring to make systems transparent and accountable to their participants, all three of our winners found them imperative.
This facet was nowhere more true than with Making All Voices Count. Their Global Innovation Competition challenged a global audience to design a solution that would improve governments’ responsiveness and accountability. Anyone in the world was welcome to apply, both companies and average citizens. By casting a wide net, and aiming to include everyone regardless of circumstance, the competition is already having a huge impact, including helping to reduce maternal mortality and flag corruption through citizen feedback.
Innovate Your State has a similar goal, focusing instead on the citizens of a smaller, localized government. Through the initiative, two big ideas were implemented, but perhaps the greatest impact was that the effort identified numerous issues that were important to the public—issues that may not have been on the radar of governing bodies without the focus on inclusivity and hearing all voices.
For the Western Australia Police (WAPOL), they found that transparency throughout the innovation process increased participation, and thus increased the pool of great ideas for implementation. After trying other processes for managing ideas, WAPOL made it a point to respond to every single idea, even if those ideas were not quite ready to move forward. As a result, the team noticed new users, more ideas, and more comments and votes.
Improved Quality of Life
Another important focus for our winners this year was on improving the quality of life, both for those organizations who were managing the initiatives and for those who the initiatives impacted. Not surprisingly, people are going to be more interested and invested in participating if they know that it’s going to help someone, perhaps even themselves, live a happier, better life.
The Western Australia Police took this to heart, hoping to improve the quality of life for their officers, as well as the citizens in their community. Thus far, the innovations which were generated and implemented are saving over 46,000 frontline hours each year, saving 8,000 hours annually in reporting, and saving thousands of hours in travel time. As we all know, time is money, and time can also be happiness.
Through citizen engagement and open government, both Making All Voices Count and Innovate Your State also had goals of improving the quality of life for average community members.
How might your organization work to make your crowdsourcing and innovation more inclusive and transparent? How might you improve quality of life all around through open innovation?