A Recognized, Trusted Hub for Innovation in Government: The SILab
Clients often need an outside perspective to jump start a new program, rescue a challenged program, or solve a problem with energy and an entrepreneurial spirit. The SILab helps clients explore solutions to their greatest challenges. It inspires them to act. It even encourages them to take risks and shoot for the moon! It generates mission results through an engaged workforce, committed stakeholders, and satisfied customers.
Recently, the Defense Acquisition University needed some outside energy to inspire a leadership class as they explored innovation in a problem challenge on missile defense. Our team jumped in to provide specific innovation ideas and tools that we left behind to inspire these leaders. We often do these teaching or speaking engagements at no cost as part of our investment in innovation.
Stuck on a problem and need advice? Need to have a guest speaker at your next training event to help employees explore innovation? Even just a meeting with the SILab will inspire innovation as you take the next steps. Just contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Arc Aspicio
Arc Aspicio is a management, strategy, and technology consulting firm that takes a mission-oriented approach to complex client challenges. Focused on innovation, Arc Aspicio provides services in strategy, design, human capital, operations, analytics and visualization, technology, and information sharing. The company is known for a strong, collaborative culture that values gratitude, provides leadership opportunities, and explores the future. Our teams use a human-centered approach to working with clients and are flexible and responsive within dynamic Government client environments that often have new priorities and evolving missions. We thrive on these situations and promote continuous improvement and new ideas. And, #welovedogs! Follow us on Twitter @arcaspicio or learn more at www.arcaspicio.com.
“Innovation is taking a challenge, exploring possibilities, designing the solution, and creating a roadmap to implement – achieving mission success,” – Anne Roberts-Smith
Shrinking budgets. Rising expectations from citizens and customers of the Government. Aging legacy systems. Increasing complexity and regulations. The need to provide ‘on demand’ services to a new generation.
With this backdrop, our strategy leaders looked for a way to help our clients to not only do more with less, but go further to transform how they approached challenges. What did we learn? We learned that innovation – a rather amorphous concept to some – needed to be defined and promoted.
We decisively invested in our innovation capabilities as part of a bold three-year strategy. This included founding our Strategy Innovation Lab (SILab), investing in repeatable tools and processes to allow our consulting teams to support clients to innovate in a repeatable, dynamic, and fun way. It also included developing an Innovation Maturity Model to help organizations assess current capabilities and make intentional decisions on where they wanted to be. Finally, it required Arc Aspicio to develop a design mindset for our own employees, leading to specific ways that we could help the Government employees embrace smart risks, experiment with new ideas, and adopt an innovation mindset as they tackle their most difficult challenges.
To promote innovation, we recommend specific actions for the Government (that we do ourselves):
- Start with the Mission and Stakeholders. We are committed to our client’s mission and their success and we face their challenges with enthusiasm and creativity. We use Mission First tools to help employees explore the mission, understand the needs of stakeholders, and empathize (walk in their shoes) to identify solutions
- Collaborate Using Human-centered Design. We tailored open source design thinking methods, tools, and perspectives to build a Government-centric Design Thinking method. This iterative process allows our teams to collaborate with clients and their stakeholders to identify, prioritize, prototype, and select solutions that can work in the complexities of the Government world
- Take Smart Risks. We are entrepreneurs for our clients and our company and that involves risk. Sometimes, entrepreneurial risk can result in failure but we always learn from our mistakes and continue to explore together. We look for ways to push boundaries and encourage employees to take risks – and we help the Government do similar things. We encourage innovation contests, IdeaJams, and Shark Tank-like models to ask for and explore radical new ideas