The City of Phoenix must further enhance its commitment to developing new and creative service delivery methods to provide services to residents. The recent economic climate challenges the City to do more with less, while maintaining high-quality public services. The City must also remain dedicated to developing and seeking continuous improvements in business processes, and maintaining a culture of innovation and efficiency. The recent efforts of the City Manager in creating the Innovation and Efficiency Task Force have helped set the stage as the City formalizes its approach.
Infuse a mindset focused on innovation and efficiency into the city of Phoenix organizational culture.
An “innovation and efficiency” way of thinking must become a much more prevalent part of the organization’s core value system and be integrated into the way every day business is conducted. Executives, managers, supervisors, and frontline staff must embrace an attitude that questions existing business processes and practices throughout the organization, with the goal of fostering innovation through the creation and implementation of new ideas.
- Develop a communication plan for executive and middle managers to create an innovation and efficiency movement through all levels of staff.
- Empower supervisory staff to encourage and reward the creation of innovative ideas as a dominant model within the organization.
- Build innovation and efficiency core values and skills sets into staff management practices, including recruitment, selection, orientation, development, mentorship, performance measurement, and compensation systems.
- Cultivate and reward a philosophy of innovation through exploratory thinking among all employees.
Establish and support city programs and mechanisms focused on developing and implementing tangible innovations throughout the organization.
The city’s innovation and efficiency efforts must be driven from the top to all levels, be results oriented, and demonstrate investment of available means. A proven approach involves assignment of resources dedicated to producing substantial innovative changes that enhance customer service, increase productivity, reduce costs, and engage employees.
- Assign an executive sponsor from the City Manager’s Office with the authority, responsibility, and resources to provide strategic direction, guidance, and support for innovation and efficiency objectives.
- Recruit, select, and assign a creative and diverse Innovation Team of multi-departmental staff with wide-ranging skills and experience representing the city’s business units, which explores creative solutions, evaluates business processes, identifies improvements, and investigates right sourcing opportunities.
- Utilize technology and a standard business process evaluation approach to achieve optimal efficiency and streamlined systems in providing top quality services.
- Invest resources necessary to carry out innovation and efficiency strategies and objectives.
- Continue to evaluate and rightsource services to maximize efficiency while maintaining the highest quality public service.
Work continually toward elimination of barriers to innovation and efficiency.
Several obstacles can stand in the way of creating an environment of innovation and pathways to efficiency. The organization must seek to identify these real or perceived hindrances and when appropriate, actively remove or facilitate working through them.
- To lessen the “business silo” effect, provide incentives for department directors, managers, and staff to collaborate, consolidate, streamline, and adapt processes or functions that overlap or cross formal organizational structures.
- Identify unneeded requirements or obsolete expectations that unnecessarily slow down business processes and work to eliminate them.
Engage the Phoenix community in the city’s innovation and efficiency methodologies to facilitate citizen involvement, input, and awareness.
Involvement by Phoenix residents in the accomplishment of the city’s innovation and efficiency goals will boost the meaningfulness and connectedness of the achievements to the community. It is important for the city to enhance public awareness about innovation and efficiency achievements and make strong efforts to request relevant input.
- Celebrate innovation and efficiency efforts and accomplishments on a citywide scale.
- Actively inform customers of innovation and efficiency efforts through available public communication methods and media.
- Improve the use of social media and expand the city's communication vehicles and processes with the use of technology.
- Continue to reach out to the community through the Mayor and City Council, Boards and Commissions, neighborhood associations, and other stakeholders to engage the community and invite participation and input.