The key to success for many private sector corporations is innovation. Tapping into the knowledge of employees and customers results in improved or new products and services. In times of budget cuts and taxpayer resistance to increased spending, government at all levels needs to tap into creative ideas from employees and citizens as well.

Mayor’s around the country are making an effort to encourage more innovative thinking in City Hall.

The City of Chicago has appointed a Chief Data Officer. The City of Boston has created an Office of New Urban Mechanics. The cities of Philadelphia and San Francisco have appointed Chief Innovation Officers. The cities of New York and Philadelphia have adopted open data policies to make government information available to the public, encouraging entrepreneurs to utilize such data in creative ways to improve access to city information and services.

If innovation is not being encouraged in a similar fashion in your city, perhaps it is time that elected or citizen leaders push for such an approach.

www.reinventinggov.org