Involving your agency in Innovation Week 2012

[Originally published on the Australian Government Public Sector Innovation Network under a Creative Commons 3.0 BY AU licence]

Planning for Innovation Week 2012 is coming along and we’ve had some great questions about the events of Innovation Week and how people can get involved.

Apart from the formal line-up of events that you can find on our site, we encourage you and your agency to participate by holding your own events. These may not be headline events; they could also be smaller activities that you do at the team level.

We’ve put together some suggestions on some possible events or activities that you might want to consider doing in your work area.

    • TED lunches – if you’ve got a communal area you can watch TED talks from, why not choose some with a relevant innovation bent and gather some colleagues together to watch and discuss over lunch?
    • Black swan’ challenge – innovation is often driven by strategic challenges, but are you sure you know what they are? Ask staff members to put forward potential ‘black swans’ – possible events or developments that:
      • would have a big impact on the operations or context of your agency,
      • are not considered or captured in your agency’s existing planning processes or scenarios, and
      • after the event, the agency will be seen to have been in a position to do something about beforehand.
    • Innovation trivia – hold a trivia quiz with innovation-themed questions relevant to your workplace
    • Seminar/presentation – invite external stakeholders or partners to talk about something new that they are doing well that might have lessons for your agency
    • Challenge-based collaboration – identify some challenges in your work area that require an innovative solution and collaborate on possible solutions. Depending on the problem you might want to involve other areas, other agencies, or partner organisations
    • Workshops/how-to events – invite someone from outside the agency to come and talk about an aspect of the innovation process, or provide insight on how to get a particular novel idea introduced into your workplace
    • Walk and talk/open air innovation – why not shake up one of your usual meetings and do something different? Or take a walk around an iconic location in your area and talk about innovation?
    • If you can’t attend the GovJam, you can always participate via streaming or watching online (details will be provided closer to the date).

Of course this is an area where you are really only limited by your imagination. There are many other possible events or activities – please put your ideas in the comments below!