At IdeaScale, we host the annual innovation management awards in order to honor the accomplishments of some truly groundbreaking organizations, but also so that some of our smartest clients can share their best practices with others. This year, we honored the accomplishments of Making All Voices Count, Western Australia Police, and Innovate Your State and also honored the Department of Labor and Washington State Department of Transportation as runner’s up in our competition.
Almost every single one of our winners was looking to improve the quality of life of citizens in some way, which is truly encouraging. Every winner was also focused on accessibility and lowering the barriers to participation to include as many voices as possible, which is probably why each of our winners were so successful. The more well-networked an idea is, the more likely it is to grow into something meaningful and/or disruptive. You can read more about those insights here.
We also invited our winners to answer a few interview questions. Not all of them could participate, but for those that were available, we’ve shared their answers here with you.
How long have you been utilizing IdeaScale?
Innovate Your State (IYS): March 2015
Western Australia Police (WAPOL): WA Police has been utilising IdeaScale since May 2013.
Making All Voices Count (MAVC): We have been using Ideascale for 3 years now.
Washington Department of Transportation (WADOT): Since August 2014.
Why is innovation vital to your organization?
IYS: Innovate Your State is a 501(c)3 organization that was founded on the idea that we need more innovation in the world, and particularly in government. Innovation is in our DNA and is vital to our mission to transform, renew and improve government.
WAPOL: Innovation is vital to WA Police as we have finite policing resources to meet the demand of a growing population in the largest policing jurisdiction in the world. Like any profession, policing needs to be adaptable to the community’s needs, changes in society, technology and culture in order to become more efficient, productive and locally-focused.
MAVC: Making All Voices Count essentially finds, funds and learns from innovations that support good governance. Innovations are an integral part of our program and we consider it vital component in ensuring that citizens are heard and governments are in turn responsive to their citizens.
WADOT: To me, innovation is synonymous with creativity and in today’s day and age we have to find creative solutions to our transportation challenges.
What’s the most important piece of advice that you can give to someone launching an IdeaScale community?
IYS: One piece of advice we’d give for someone launching an IdeaScale community would be to explore the platform in full and engage with the IdeaScale staff often. They are a great resource and have been a huge help in helping us run a successful challenge.
WAPOL: The most important ingredient for success is engagement with your people and effective communication. We provide personalised, tailored responses to the idea submitters, keeping them informed of progress and celebrating successes in the public arena within the organisation.
MAVC: Use the tools available to you to publicise the campaign as much as you can. This helps you reach a wider audience.
WADOT: Have a solid policy and process in place and ensure that the process incorporates the idea author.
What are you most proud of in your innovation program?
IYS: We are most proud of the people who took the time to share their ideas on ways to improve the State of California. Innovation in government is a big undertaking, and it takes many people collaborating and working together to make great things happen.
WAPOL: Aside from the tangible benefits of financial savings, reduction in man hours and cultural and morale improvement, we are proud of connecting thousands of people across the state allowing them to play a key role in driving the changes that make a difference to their working conditions. This gives them a real sense of ownership of the future of WA Police.
MAVC: Our consciousness to find, fund and learn from the “unusual suspects” i.e. people who wouldn’t usually get funding from anywhere else. I am also proud of the grassroots impact we have managed to make over the length of the program.
WADOT: One idea we implemented was focused on using unused space to extend HOV lanes on a busy corridor by more than a ½ mile. That incredibly customer-focused idea was an easy to implement, low cost solution that benefited many drivers along that stretch of highway.
Business Strategy and Marketing
Innovate Your State
Deputy Commissioner (Operations)
Western Australia Police
South to South Lab Officer
Making All Voices Count
Deputy Communications Director
Washington State Department of Transportation