by Laura Stephan
Modernization. Innovation. Continuous Improvement. Process Improvement. Digitization…
These words are becoming commonplace as we work together as an organization to enhance services to our community.
Woven through all of these terms is change.
Though the Innovation Lab, a team of colleagues from within our organization is taking steps to support their work areas with change.
Marcia MacKay, Shirley Connelly, Darlene Burks, and Dean Sirizzotti of the Social Services Department have been working together as an “Innovation Lab Team” facilitated through the lab process by Laura Stephan, Darren Levine and Daniel Sparks from our Innovation and Research Unit.
Together they have been exploring the concept of change, experiences with change, and the types of supports that can help support teams through change.
“The experience with the innovation lab has not only given me great tools to help my co-workers adapt to change but it was also one of personal growth, as I now know that I’m braver than I believed, stronger than I seemed, and smarter than I thought” – Shirley
“I do not believe in limitations when a group of collaborative people gather and utilize his/her imagination to focus on goals, a solution, and implementation.” – Dean
“I thoroughly enjoyed being a member of the “Lab Rats” 😊 It amazed me how collaborating with new people and a pile of sticky notes we could come up with this brilliant concept! Great Experience!” – Darlene
“I enjoy thinking outside the box, looking beyond our current practices and challenging processes when I feel there might be a better way to organize or work through them. Being a part of the Innovation Lab to look at how change affects people and how our individual departments manage information and feedback related to change, allowed me the ability to create new ideas in a safe forum.” – Marcia
The lab team applied their insights and ideas to the creation of a prototype geared at supporting change in the workplace. This prototype reflects the importance of having colleagues included as co-owners of change, and provides colleagues with a mechanism to share their experiences with, and ideas for, change.
Marcia recently took steps to bring the prototype along with her insights and experiences from the lab team into her work area. She recently introduced an “Every Voice Matters” station to her team. Along with the station is a process that allows her colleagues to experience the psychological safety necessary to share feedback and ideas.
Creating the “Every Voice Matters” box gave my colleagues a safe and confidential space to ask questions and give feedback about a recent process change. Our team creates a safe space in our meetings to voice our ideas as a group but this box gives us the next level of directed discussion. I hope to continue this type of process with upcoming changes in our workplace.” -Marcia
Want to learn more about the innovation lab process and what might be possible in your work area?
Send an email to Innovate@durham.ca.
Imagine the possibilities.