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in Leaders & Managers

Serial innovation might be a good way to get ideas flowing again. Two strategies:

1. Cultivate ideas with an “Idea Factory” intranet site.
It’s what the U.S. Transportation Security Agency (TSA) did so employees could submit ideas to improve operations and processes. Staff also vote for the most worthy suggestions.

Result: At the one-year mark, 4,500 ideas and 39,000 comments had been submitted, and 20 ideas had been implemented.

The more ideas TSA uses, the more inclined employees are to submit.

2. Test new ideas by partnering with other organizations.

Example: To transform public schools, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and School Chancellor Joel Klein created a nonprofit to attract private financing. Those financial partners allowed Bloomberg to sidestep bureaucratic constraints to assess and roll out pilot programs, which might otherwise have been squelched over budget concerns.

— Adapted from “Innovation State: The Public Innovator’s Handbook,” Bill Eggers and Shalabh Kumar Singh, Deloitte Review.

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