Innovation

GSA Launches New Innovation Adoption Community of Practice

Learn how you can get involved!

We’re excited to announce the launch of the Digital.gov Innovation Adoption Community of Practice (CoP)! We are a community of federal government employees who support each other as we learn, share, and adopt innovative approaches and new ways of working within our organizations. Our goal is to inspire, support, and teach each other how to apply modern principles and practices to be the change we want to see in the federal government.

How We Started

The Innovation Adoption CoP has its roots in an initiative that grew out of the 2015 Strategy of American Innovation which was jointly published by the White House National Economic Council and Office of Science and Technology Policy. Specifically, the recommendation on ‘Delivering Innovative Government With and For the People’ prompted the organic creation of a convening network of innovation drivers across government.

Over the past decade, the federal government has embraced innovation with multiple agencies and has created more than 50 innovation labs across government. Much of the effort has focused on projects and outcomes that solve challenging problems within these agencies — rather than finding, connecting, and cultivating public sector employees who want to embrace innovative methods and practices to improve delivery of government services for the public.

So, a cadre of participants from different agencies developed a unique collection of experiences and resources to address this gap within the federal workforce. We used an open, participatory approach to engage members of a growing, informal network of cross-government innovators. The collaborative effort established a hub, anchor concepts, and informational resources for all of the government to leverage:

  • We convened more than 2,000 federal government employees from 112 agencies across the United States in 100 co-creation workshops and two design-a-thons.
  • We established a network of more than 100 innovation mentors, coaches, and facilitators to amplify and evangelize innovation within their agencies.
  • We developed six plays based on core innovation principles:
    • Play 1: Everyone can build a better government
    • Play 2: Keep your user at the center of your design
    • Play 3: Embrace change and experiment
    • Play 4: Collaborate with partners
    • Play 5: Let data inform your decision making
    • Play 6: Innovation is not a one-size-fits-all approach
  • We created a toolkit to explore four meaningful categories:
    • Category 1: 21st Century Culture and Workflow
    • Category 2: Improving Government Services Delivery
    • Category 3: Solving Complex Problems
    • Category 4: Working with Innovators
  • We designed four innovation archetypes to understand the behaviors and needs of innovators in government:
    • Doers
    • Dreamers
    • Champions
    • Gatekeepers
  • We designed, staffed, and launched a cohort-based Innovation Bootcamp Experience for 40 people from 23 agencies to train and connect the many current and future innovators across government over 12 weeks.

Recently, a small cadre of former volunteer leaders who helped lead those activities met to determine how the effort might become a community of practice. Those leaders — from CFPB, EPA, FDA, GSA, and HHS — will serve as the initial team of community managers for this new Digital.gov community of practice. The Centers of Excellence will support the community, providing leadership, expertise, and learning opportunities in conjunction with its new Innovation practice.

How to Join

We’re excited to be here and for you to join us! You can join the community Listserv to connect with others who are working on innovation and be notified about our upcoming events — with the kickoff happening in August 2021.