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Blogging Series 10 Ways Open Innovation Can Transform Your Agency (Week 3)

Blogging Series 10 Ways Open Innovation Can Transform Your Agency (Week 3)

Sorry for the brief delay in the blogging series. I’ve been managing the launch of an internal open innovation portal for New York City. More information on this project is available at: http://gigaom.com/2011/01/19/new-york-city-crowdsourcing/

Now time for Week 3! Open innovation can transform your agency by increasing transparency in the governance process.


Background: Historically citizens have had to show up to public meetings to be plugged into the inner workings of an agency. Even at these meetings, if a project or suggestion is turned down, there’s typically no significant discussion into the reason why. Although the factual data (votes/attendance) may be transparent, the contextual data (reasoning) is not.


How It Applies: Open innovation can allow for the governance process of an agency to become more manageable and transparent. Let’s evaluate these two components further:

  • Manageable: It’s very difficult to consider every policy suggested by a constituent; however, only considering policies that have been vetted by a community (internal or external) makes this process more manageable.
  • Transparent: After the initial vetting, if a suggestion is not implemented, there should be a transparent reason why that is visible to the entire community. Closing the feedback loop (whether positively or negatively) will increase the likelihood of the participant remaining engaged in their agency.

Bottom Line: Making governance transparent provides for a more knowledgable constituent and employee-base. The benefit of this is that having thorough knowledge of a process helps to instill accountability and spur innovation within the process. This is #Gov20 at it’s best.

What do you think? Do your employees/citizens understand the governance process of your agency?

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Profile Photo James Ferreira

Wow you are a mind reader! We are dabbling but moving and that is important. This year we started putting bill analyses for legislators online. This has not been done in the history of the state and gives the public information that they may not even know existed. Bottom line is the public sees more of the information that affects how bills are considered.

Profile Photo Shellee O'Brien

The idea that participation in government also educates citizens is pervasive in James Madison’s work. I’ve seen too many efforts at soliciting citizen input that don’t recognize this need to close the feedback loop. The idea that doing so increases the likelihood of keeping that citizen engaged in future efforts is vital. Thanks for making that part of this conversation.