Institutions tend to be lousy innovators.
Partly, I think, because power-holders don’t put their reputations on the line to push novel ideas. Also, nowadays, because employees are so crazily overworked after decades of so-called ‘productivity’ reforms.
Innovation, like all things, needs permission and a space to thrive.
I stumbled across this nice example of a public corporation that’s doing it right.
South East Water in Melbourne has a board at the entrance to their staff cafeteria that records the passage of staff-initiated innovations from ‘raw idea’ to ‘evaluated’ to ‘testing’ to ‘project’ to ‘success’.
It’s a conspicuous signpost that says ‘permission to experiment’, and ‘we value your ideas’.
(Thanks to the energetic Rebecca for posing with the board.)