organizational capacity to innovate
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Social innovation is often seen as an outcome rather than as a tool, a stroke of inspiration rather than a sustained practice. However, there are organizations that regard innovation as a process rather than a destination. These organizations are intentionally building their internal capacity to innovate. While these organizations approach innovation capacity-building in different ways, common themes have emerged: a clear vision, leadership and staff development, engaged networks, allocated resources, and learning from experimentation.
No recipe exists for how to combine these characteristics; it depends on mission, context and culture among other things. Experimenting with these characteristics can help social sector organizations develop the capabilities to sustain innovation over time. For a printable resource of questions to help understand your organization's capacity to innovate, click here.
To learn more about capacity to innovate, click here.
allocated resources for innovation
Organization makes resources available to employees for generating new ideas as well as bringing selected ideas from ideation to development to implementation. Allocated resources could include time, physical space, money, or people. To learn more, watch the videos below.
Organization proactively builds and intentionally reaches out to their network to problem-solve, broaden perspectives, and contribute to the organization's work. To learn more, click to listen to the full webinar, or topical sections below.
LEARNING FROM EXPERIMENTATION
An internal or external process of experimenting with a new idea, learning from the results (both successes and failures), and using the results to influence decisions. To learn more, click to download the article below, featuring Circle of Blue and Frontline SMS.
CLEAR LONG-TERM VISION
Organization has identified a clear vision that illustrates a long-term purpose, and the vision is able to be articulated by leadership and staff. Vision is clear, but flexible enough to be achieved through a variety of methods and approaches.
STAFF IS DIVERSE, PASSIONATE, AND EMPOWERED
Employees have a diversity of backgrounds, skills and perspectives; they feel empowered to make choices regarding their work and to take action when necessary; and at least some staff are more committed to the organization's mission than they are to their jobs.
LEADERSHIP COMMITTED TO INNOVATION
Organization leadership, including the board, executive team, and managers, has publicly committed to creating an innovative organization through both words and actions.