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Working with UK Government

Cross continental collaboration

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I love OpenIDEO and have always wanted to make a contribution to the platform. Now seems to be the time as I have been focussing very much on the principles and the methodology of OI based on some workshops I am currently putting together for a large Corporate in  North America.(Not that I want to talk about that)

I want to specifically discuss about a collaboration that has taken place between myself and a large Government agency in Scotland(UK). I'm based in New Zealand and it has blown my socks off as to how little me in my office in Wellington, NZ has played a part in transforming a large Council in Scotland due to Open Innovation. 


Councils are typically quite conservative however I was fortunate to find myself in the company of a wonderful lady called Zoe who had come across IDEO via Design thinking however never came to appreciate the power of 'Open' Innovation. Through Crowdsourcing the 9000 employees and various facilitations between the 2 of us we have managed to transform the entire council by leveraging the collective intelligence of the staff. 2 people can transform an entire Government agency by utilising Open Innovation.....the power of the crowd!!!

Happy to discuss further if anybody has got specific questions. It's not about 2 or 9000 it's all about the process and methodology





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Neil Meekin - HunchBuzz - Wellington New Zealand

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Photo of Shane Zhao

Great story Neil!  How did you and your colleague manage to crowdsource from 9000 employees? Was it through a custom platform or through some other tool? We'd love to hear more details about the process and about how the experiment created impacts in the council afterwards. 

Photo of Neil

Hey Shane....thanks for the comment. 

We used our Idea Management software platform - HunchBuzz for the Idea generation and collaboration part of the process. I suppose similar to how OpenIdeo is operating. 

Initially I collaborated with the Change & Transformation Manager at the Council and over a period of weeks created and refined a 5 step process for Idea to Implementation. This was supported by the platform and facilitated by the Transformation team and endorsed by the CEO.

The real power came about from the employees who had never truly had an opportunity to express Ideas previously. The more the Ideas came the more people became engaged...because they became more engaged they performed better and the quality of a lot of employees work improved and also created a ripple effect throughout different departments as they started to perceive what was a possible in an entirely new way.

Basically a chain reaction occurred, which has spread not just from the Council but also to other areas of the City(Universities, Business etc). I am currently putting together a Case study so if you like I can send you a copy?