As with most organizations today, I place a big emphasis on innovation in our student leadership program. To us Innovation is the process of taking new and creative ideas and turning them into something of value. As a student government we are constantly searching for new and better ways to do things. The challenge is finding a way to successfully implement these new events and ideas in our school. When we do this well we create something of value for our students.
Over the years I have developed a framework that I think allows our organization to stay current and innovative. We use this as a guide at the beginning of the planning process for any major event, project, or product launch.
1. First, we identify every product, service, and event we currently offer and answer Why and to Who do we offer them? Then we ask ourselves are we neglecting or forgetting anyone?
2. Next, we conduct an environmental scan of other organizations who offer similar products, events, etc. We gather as much information and learn as much as we can about what they are doing. Then we ask ourselves: What do we like? What don’t we like? How can we do this differently? How can we do this better? How can we alter this to better fit our organization?
3. Lastly, we take all the previous information and start brainstorming ideas. Then we begin working our way through our project planning steps so we can implement the idea it in our school.
By creating a culture of innovation and risk taking in our student leadership program we are better able to engage our audience and continually get better at what we do.