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6 What is the self-assessment? The self-assessment was designed to help you see where you should focus your efforts. Use this series of 30 questions to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your organizationâs innovative culture. The sell-assessment form can be found in Figure 1, the results of which are compiled in Figure 2. In addition to the literature review, survey, and case study interviews, the guide and self-assessment build on the work of the Australian Public Serviceâs (APSâs) Public Sector Innovation Toolkit, https://innovation.govspace.gov.au (as of February 1, 2018). The guide was designed with these three user groups in mind: 1. DOT Executives and Leadership: People who are responsible for setting goals and strategy for the organization. 2. Innovation Team Leaders: People who are tasked with leading change efforts that will help build an innovative culture. 3. Everyday Innovation Implementers: People who are not directly responsible for leading change efforts, but have influence within the organization or work unit (e.g., district engineer, area engineer, engineer squad leader, maintenance crew chief, and bureau or section chiefs). 2.1 Use the Self-Assessment to Jump Start and Keep Improving Your Efforts To get the most from the assessment, take the following steps: 1. Decide if you are initiating/assessing your culture of innovation at the orga- nization or work-unit level. While the self-assessment refers to âyour organiza- tion,â that term should be interpreted in a way that best relates to your effort and your agencyâs unique needs. It could refer to your entire organization, a work unit, a division, or a district office. 2. Encourage multiple employees to take the assessment. Perceptions can often vary among leadership, work units, and employees, so it is important to make sure a variety of viewpoints are represented. You should ask your employees to submit their assessments anonymously if you think they might be uncomfortable sharing how they rated the agency. 3. Average the scores for each building block and calculate an overall innovation score. It could also be helpful to see if opinions vary greatly between leadership, work units, or employment levels. 4. Facilitate one or more meetings as a catalyst for your innovation efforts. While the areas where you received the lowest scores will likely be where you will want to focus your innovation efforts, do not assume that is necessarily the case. Through a facilitated process, explore which elements of innovation efforts should be S E C T I O N 2 Self-Assessment Whether the self-assessment helps you jump start your innovation effort, predict where you may face obstacles, or improve your efforts, its true value is the platform it creates for discussion and action- planning for a culture of innovation.
Self-Assessment 7 INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Circle or highlight the answer that best fits your organization. 2. Total your score for each section. 3. Complete the score card at the end. 4. Review the assessment based on your scores. 5. Keep your score and retake the assessment again to track progress. In our organizationâ¦ Disagree or Do Not Know Partially Agree Agree Innovation is a core value. 0 1 2 Most of our innovative ideas come from the bottom up. 0 1 2 Leaders regularly challenge employees and encourage them to develop their own solutions. 0 1 2 We have a team of âinnovation championsâ who are charged with communicating, recognizing, measuring, and training employees to help foster an innovation culture. 0 1 2 Leaders use performance measurement to determine which work units are innovating and which are struggling. 0 1 2 Our organizationâ¦ Disagree or Do Not Know Partially Agree Agree Provides training to teach employees how to present innovative ideas and measure their effectiveness. 0 1 2 Provides a platform for employees and the public to submit innovative ideas. 0 1 2 Pilots ideas to reduce risk and make sure the cost of failure is contained. 0 1 2 Innovation is understood to be built from ideas that can be small or great in scope, but all ideas are equally valuable as part of an innovation culture. 0 1 2 Employees understand how to evaluate their own or othersâ ideas in terms of cost and benefit and have channels to do so. 0 1 2 Empowerment Score: ___ Leadership Score: ___ Our organizationâ¦ Disagree or Do Not Know Partially Agree Agree Has a name, brand, or tagline for its innovation effort that employees recognize. 0 1 2 Regularly shares examples of innovation successes with employees. 0 1 2 Reports on our innovation efforts externally to stakeholders, elected officials, or the media. 0 1 2 Hosts events where participants can learn about innovations that they may be able to implement. 0 1 2 Regularly communicates with employees about importance of innovation. 0 1 2 Communication Score: ___ Figure 1. Self-assessment evaluation form. (continued on next page)
8 Guide to Creating and Sustaining a Culture of Innovation for Departments of Transportation In our organizationâ¦ Disagree or Do Not Know Partially Agree Agree Employees regularly receive rewards for their innovations. 0 1 2 Innovation is part of an employeeâs performance requirements and can help them be promoted when opportunities emerge. 0 1 2 Employees recognize the importance of being innovative as a way to advance in the organization. 0 1 2 Employees feel their innovative efforts are valued. 0 1 2 Employees are motivated to be innovative because they will receive an award for their efforts. 0 1 2 Recognition Score: ___ Our organizationâ¦ Disagree or Do Not Know Partially Agree Agree Tracks the cost, time, and customer satisfaction of innovative ideas. 0 1 2 Tracks the number of innovative ideas submitted. 0 1 2 Regularly reports on the cost savings and efficiencies captured through innovation. 0 1 2 Includes innovation as a factor in employee performance reviews. 0 1 2 Requires employees to keep track of their innovative pursuits. 0 1 2 Measurement Score: ___ In our organizationâ¦ Disagree or Do Not Know Partially Agree Agree Innovation is a priority. 0 1 2 Employees are encouraged to try new ideas and are supported even when those new ideas do not pan out. 0 1 2 Employees know who can help them develop an idea and how to take it forward. 0 1 2 Employees are encouraged to listen and look for ideas outside of their own work units. 0 1 2 Anyone can submit a new idea in our organization. 0 1 2 Innovation Level Score: ___ Figure 1. (Continued). launched first, whether the effort should occur across the agency or within a specific work unit, and how recommendations in this guidance should be revised to resonate with your agency. You may want to hire a trained facilitator in innovation or culture change to provide an objective, third-party perspective, or you may already have trained facilitators within your agency. The important point is that all employees have an opportunity to share their thoughts openly in these meetings. See Figures 4 and 5 for examples of how the implementation steps could be sequenced for those creating a culture of innovation and those seeking to sustain a culture of innovation. 5. Save your results and reassess periodically. Your initial assessment score can serve as your baseline going forward to track improvements and identify which efforts are having the most impact and which need more work. It is helpful to reassess your scores periodicallyâ perhaps annually, every other year, every third year, or after an innovative effort has had the opportunity to make an impact. 2.2 How to Calculate Your Results 1. Enter your self-assessment totals into Figure 2. 2. Identify areas where you received the lowest scores, and based on employee discussions, begin with those sections of the guide first. This approach will help you prioritize the areas where your organization could improve the most.
Self-Assessment 9 3. Enter your Innovation Level score into Figure 3. The innovation level serves as an over- arching term, because there is some overlap between building blocks and the rough deter- mination of where an organization stands on the innovation spectrum. 4. Review the description that matches your score to see your innovation level and which elements of the guide may be most beneficial to you. See Figures 4 and 5 for examples of how implementation steps could be sequenced for those creating a culture of innovation and those seeking to sustain a culture of innovation. â 0 to 4 points = Novice Innovator Youâre in the beginning stages of establishing an innovation culture. Pay close attention to the tips for getting started that are included at the end of each building block. They will give you some direction for how to launch innovative efforts. â 5 to 7 points = Intermediate Innovator Youâve got some of the elements of innovation culture underway, and with a few additions you will be able to fully establish it. Watch for the elements of the building LEADERSHIP SCORE COMMUNICATION SCORE EMPOWERMENT SCORE RECOGNITION SCORE MEASUREMENT SCORE Figure 2. Self-assessment results. INNOVATION LEVEL SCORE Figure 3. Self-assessment resultsâinnovation level.
10 Guide to Creating and Sustaining a Culture of Innovation for Departments of Transportation Figure 4. Sequence of innovation building blocks.
Self-Assessment 11 Figure 5. Steps to creating and sustaining a culture of innovation.
12 Guide to Creating and Sustaining a Culture of Innovation for Departments of Transportation blocks that you may be missing. You will also want to review the tips for sustaining the areas where you are doing well. â 8 to 10 points = Advanced Innovator Your organization seems to have a firm grasp on innovation culture. Your biggest challenge may be to keep it going. So, in addition to reviewing the building block sections where you received the lowest scores, you will want to review the tips for how to sustain innovation culture that are provided in each section. 2.3 How to Sequence the Building Blocks: An Overarching View While thereâs no one right way to create or sustain a culture of innovation, there are logical steps you can take to layer actions upon each other to build a durable foundation of innovation culture and keep enthusiasm strong over time. The sequence in which the building blocks could be implemented to form a foundation and reinforcing actions to sustain an innovation culture are provided in Figures 4 and 5.