Me and Tracey from Impacto Consulting had our recent chat, we discussed the importance of finding balance when driving innovation in social organisations.
Tracey kicked things off by explaining her analogy of innovation being like "silver shotgun pellets". While there's no single most important element, you need a variety of factors working together to be truly effective.
Clarity of Purpose
We started by chatting about the importance of having a crystal clear organisational mission that everyone understands. Getting your whole team aligned on where you're headed and why innovation matters is crucial. As I said, you won't get far just trying new things for the sake of it in this sector - there needs to be a compelling reason.
Leadership and Culture
Next, we talked about the role of leadership. Tracey believes leaders must foster a safe, diverse environment where people feel comfortable experimenting with ideas. I added that the entire leadership team needs to consistently communicate the mission to drive real change across the organisation.
Client Focus and Collaboration
Another key area is a deep understanding of clients. Tracey said being client-centric provides strategic direction, like a "compass". Collaborating with other organisations working in similar spaces is also important for tackling big issues together rather than with solo solutions.
Finally, we touched on empowering staff with easy access to tools and resources. I mentioned places that simplify transitioning to new ways of working tend to see best results. Tracey also shared a self-assessment tool to help organisations understand strengths and areas for focus.
In summary, finding balance across these pillars is crucial for innovation in the social sector. It requires clarity of purpose, supportive leadership, deep client understanding, collaboration, and empowered employees. Let us know if any other questions come up!