Manor, TX, Chief Information Officer Dustin Haisler has joined idea crowd-sourcing start-up Spigit as Director of Government Innovation. Here’s a few questions we had for him when he broke the news to us.
You’ve had a fantastic year with many accolades for your work in the public sector. Why throw it all away and go work for the private sector?
I don’t consider going to private-sector as throwing away what has been accomplished; rather, this is a way for me to build on top of that. While in Manor, I discovered that there were more agencies that needed help then we could support. In joining Spigit, I can now focus on helping these agencies innovate on a full-time basis.
What will you focus on at Spigit?
My focus is going to be helping other agencies work through their organizational challenges using open innovation as a model. There is a science to what was done in the City of Manor, and it is my mission to help enable other local, state and federal agencies to do the same.
From your experience in Manor, what advice do you have for local government?
I would like others to know that there is nothing ‘magical’ about what was done in Manor, and it’s actually more scientific than you might think. Manor’s model for government innovation can and should be replicated by other agencies. In addition, I know that there are significant cultural and organizational roadblocks that we must overcome, but the fact is- they CAN be overcome. There are two main components that enabled us to innovate on the scale that we did in Manor.
1. Open Leadership: Our City Manager, Phil Tate, was an open leadership visionary that realized the value achieved by allowing employees and citizens to weigh-in on the direction of the city. This form of management is still very much in its infancy, but by having a progressive and visionary executive sponsor, we were able to tap our ‘civic surplus.’
2. Proving Business Value: If we couldn’t explain how the project would make the system more efficient or cost-effective it was scrapped. I think a great way to do this is draw out the existing system on a whiteboard, then draw how the new system makes the process better. Sometimes simple things like this make the big picture easier to understand for those on the fence.
Dustin Haisler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (512) 961-6630.
Idea management software developer Spigit announced the launch of CitizenSpigit, ‘a platform that enables government agencies to engage citizens and employees to improve efficiency and operations, as well as to generate actionable ideas.’ The City of Manor, Texas, is the first municipality to deploy the platform, which it uses to power Manor Labs.
The City of Manorâ€™s open innovation portal, Manor Labs, has been live for a few months turning ideas into solutions. When talking with other cities, I find that the entire concept of open innovation is a bit misunderstood. It is very easy to put up a voting platform to rate ideas, but what happens afterwards? With Manor Labs, powered by the Spigit open innovation engine, the system is user-driven and self-sufficient. This allows our small agency the ability to process large quantities of ideas with limit staff involvement.
Here’s a breakdown of idea stages and functions:
1. Incubation: When an idea is submitted it falls into this stage until it meets the required voting, page view and buzz needed to advance to the next stage.
2. Validation: Ideas that meet voting, page view and buzz requirements automatically fall into this stage. In this stage, a department head will submit a review each idea, and based upon the combination of citizen and departmental feedback, the idea may drop into the next category. If department decides that the idea does not contain enough information to proceed, they can move the idea back to incubation stage and request more information before proceeding.
3. Emergence: In this stage, ideas are reviewed by the Manor Innovation Team (MIT), which is composed of all city department heads. The team reviews each idea on a series of metrics and determine whether to implement or abort the idea. Ideas can also be piloted from this stage before they are fully implemented.
4. Closed: Ideas that fall into this stage are either implemented or aborted. If they are implemented, the idea creator is awarded and more information about how to use or signup for the new solution is posted online. If the idea is aborted, the idea creator receives an open response with reasoning why the idea cannot be implemented.
For more information about Manor Labs or to signup for an account to participate, please visit www.manorlabs.org.