A group dedicated to facilitating creativity within individuals, groups, and organizations.
Promoting Creativity in Local Government
July 29, 2009 at 8:46 pm #76768
How do we create an atmosphere that promotes creativity in an environment that historically is full of bureaucracy?
The City of Manor, Texas is a small community that four years ago functioned like most typical local government agencies. Manor minimized risks by long studies and long preliminary evaluations on any projects that were considered. This was not an environment that promoted creativity and innovation. Although proper planning is essential, if it is too excessive or political it can derail any project that would otherwise have been very successful. We have a new thought process in Manor- we’re not afraid to take risks. Instead of “financing” solutions that our taxpayers will bear for years, we simply innovate or create our own. We sometimes use existing technologies, like Google Earth or Google Docs to solve problems, but other times we simply brainstorm, plan, and deploy our own solutions to save our taxpayers money and increase efficiency in the process. Any risk that we bear also has the potential to be successful. Many great things in our society have come out of that. Today, when I speak to other agencies, I challenge them to think-outside-the-box. Innovation and creativity does not have to come from the private-sector, it can come from a government agency that has an atmosphere that promotes it and allows it to grow.
My next postings will include how we created this atmosphere in Manor, but I’m also interested in hearing your ideas and how your agencies promote creativity internally. Thanks!
July 30, 2009 at 12:56 pm #76782
Great post Dustin. The move to open source and creative solutions will only continue and I believe the government needs to take a leading role, rather than picking up the scraps. We need to let our people think, create and solve problems. Well done!
I heard a good podcast yesterday.
“Adaptability is the product of distributed intelligence. You never know who will have the keys to future success within your group.”
July 30, 2009 at 1:41 pm #76780
Craig I like the quote you used. I think it does get to the heart of the matter – you don’t know where good ideas are going to come from so you need to create an environment that encourages creative participation by all.
July 30, 2009 at 8:25 pm #76778
Michael McCarthy, APRParticipant
Looking forward to your future posts. When we brainstorm, we have specific rules, one being that no answer is wrong. This creates an open atmosphere where people are more likely to contribute thoughts or seeds of ideas. If someone is saying “No, that won’t work” during a brainstorm, it tends to shut people down, and they don’t contribute.
August 1, 2009 at 12:43 am #76776
Thanks for sharing the insights! It’s refreshing to see others that share this mentality. Although there may not be many of us right now, I believe that the waves of change are spreading through all levels of government.
August 3, 2009 at 9:01 pm #76774
I like this post. I am looking forward to reading more about creating this atmosphere. I am new to my agency, and trying to get everyone to udnerstand that I am open to hearing every new idea is difficult. It is getting easier as I implement some of the changes, but I know there are a lot more great ideas to come from the staff.
October 23, 2009 at 3:29 pm #76772
I believe there is a vast amount of untapped creative ability out in the community. I wonder how we can tap that resource? What are some ways of encouraging creative participation in local governance and problem solving? One approach that I have promoted is the Creativity Challenge as a way of engaging local problem solving and opportunity finding. What other ideas do people have for promoting creativity at the local level?
March 28, 2010 at 12:39 am #76770
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