Blog by Catherine Tkachyk: “I have worked in a government innovation office for the last eight years in four different roles and two different communities. In that time, I’ve had numerous conversations on what works and doesn’t work for innovation in local government. Here’s what I’ve learned: starting an innovation office in government is hard. That is not a complaint, I love the work I do, but it comes with its own challenges. When you think about many of the services government provides: Police; Fire; Health and Human Services; Information Technology; Human Resources; Finance; etc. very few people question whether government should provide those services. They may question how they are provided, who is providing them, or how much they cost, but they don’t question the service. That’s not true for innovation offices. One of the first questions I can get from people when they hear what I do is, “Why does government need an Office of Innovation.” My first answer is, “Do you like how government works? If not, then maybe there should be a group of people focused on fixing it.”
Over my career, I have come across a few lessons on how to start up an innovation office to give you the best chance for success. Some of these lessons come from listening to others, but many (probably too many) come from my own mistakes….(More)”.