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Innovation has become a necessary ingredient to staying ahead of the curve, delivering on rapidly changing customer needs and increasing market share. But in the public sector, it takes a spark to ignite innovation and so much more to keep it burning. There’s no shortage of strong intentions and good ideas when it comes to innovation, but what’s often lacking is the capability, capacity and risk tolerance to foster and sustain it.
When it comes to innovation, the City of Ottawa is not starting from scratch. City staff already innovate across departments, branches, and units, with many great examples to highlight. The City wanted to take the “innovation at the edges” and asked themselves: How do we embed innovation across the organization, in every department?
They were ready to raise the bar.
In the summer of 2018, with the help of PwC Canada’s Experience Consulting team, they set out with a clear vision to build an innovative city from the inside out, with the goal of creating an innovative employee culture that translates into a personalized, customized, and in-context citizen experience. The approach involved looking inward through co-creation workshops with City employees to learn the “secret sauce” of innovation, and outward by gathering findings from a global cities scan. The City developed a service delivery model that encourages staff and managers to identify the need for innovation, generate solutions, and iterate and test the impact of new ideas. First up in 2019, the team pulled together staff from various departments, shifting the perspective to the ‘client lens’ and asked them “how do we improve the parking experience for residents?” Then they invited residents in to help co-create the desired future state. The result is an exciting path forward that will include new and innovative ways to improve the parking experience for Ottawa residents.
In a live recording of PwC Canada’s Shift Podcast, Jon Finkelstein, Creative Director of PwC Experience Consulting sits down with Kim Ennis, from the City’s Service Transformation team, to learn how her team is changing their stride to keep pace with changing citizen expectations by enabling innovation at the edges.