The Blog

#Innovation #Gov20 – Our Digital Future

There is one thing that is clear, when 1,800+ people gather in one of Ontario’s more famous cities to talk about our digital future as a country, you have to take notice. Stratford Ontario, you are the home to the Stratford Festival, Justin Bieber and my father in law, so that in my books means something.

On May 4, 201 I was at Canada 3.0 a gathering of private and public sector leaders in Stratford talking about our countries digital future. I was asked to be part of a Public Sector panel on Innovation in government, WHAT, did I just say Innovation, YES I DID. I had the great privilege of being part of a panel of leaders with, Denise Amyot, CEO/President at Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation and President at Institute of Public Administration of Canada, David Nicholl, Corporate Chief Information and Information Technology Officer at the Province of Ontario and Garnet Garven from the Public Policy Forum.

We all spoke about innovation, how it is alive and well in this country and many people are being innovators, yet, many in all levels of government still need to be released from the bondage of fear that stops them from choosing innovation.

The focus of my talk was “Innovation is a Choice” I first started with reading this excerpt from the City of Edmonton “The Way Ahead” our corporate strategic plan.

Innovation as a Principle

A planning approach and operational culture within a municipality which encourages and enables continuous improvement and the exploration and adoption of new techniques, technologies, products and ways of operating in order to improve results and lead progressive change.

I went on to highlight the many innovations from IT at the City of Edmonton over the past 60 years:

Billing System – 1951

Early GIS Adopter – 1978

Internet Presence – 1991

First Council Voting System in NA – 1993

First Canadian City Apps Competition – 2010

I also spoke our current Innovations in the areas of Leadership, Technology and Partnerships. I enjoy speaking about innovation, primarily because I work with so many open minded innovative people day to day, innovation is the fuel that draws us to the next day, the wind in our sails, our “tomorrow”.

I challenged those in attendance to choose innovation on a daily basis. I left them with the 5 things I consider each day as a leader.

1 Choose Innovation – Be Inquisitive

2 Spend time with people – Listen Generously

3 Be Open – New Ideas – New Approaches

4 Encourage Experimentation & Collaboration

5 Challenge Status Quo – Disruption without Chaos

For me Innovation is a choice. A choice that we need to make everyday !