The first question Justin Trudeau was asked after becoming Canada’s Prime Minister was what would make his government different? His answer centered on evidence-based policy making. While evidence required to make sound policy is sometimes available through traditional means, like surveys and public submissions, there are new, proven ways to supply strong evidence that creates or validates the path to the best possible policies.
Innovation management is one of those ways. Through methodology and online tools, it bring members of diverse communities together to collaborate on responding to specific challenges and has been used successfully to inform good-policy making many, many times.
Here are five unique characteristics of online innovation management that further evidence to better inform policy making:
1. Divergent perspectives add value
Online innovation management can reach and engage members of diverse communities. It's well documented that a divergence of perspectives yields the best dialogue. Moderated appropriately, better dialogue that includes a greater diversity of participants can create a wealth of data and evidence to support the development and adjustment of public policy.
2. It’s efficient and convenient for participants
Peoples’ time has never been more valuable to them. Using progressive solutions that respect their busy lifestyles will encourage their participation.
Online innovation management solutions allow participants to engage at their convenience, when and from wherever they like (after all, it is 2015). In turn, this bolsters participation, providing more inputs, more data points, and ultimately, more evidence to support decision-making.
Some basic background information on individual participants (while respecting privacy concerns) provides clarity on who is participating and from where, which contributes to a more beneficial dialogue for all by:
- Building trust among participants leading to deeper and more interactive discussions
- Helping sponsors evaluate inputs in context
Alongside a solid strategy, a properly configured online innovation management engagement can bring out tremendous creativity from participants. It can:
- Empower participants to be more directly involved in topics that are important to them
- Expose the insights of other participants to one another
- Allow people to work as a community, improving inputs and ideas and prioritizing which are best
The common thread through all online innovation management is collaboration between interested parties. Be it between individuals or communities, collaboration creates a unique dividend for everyone involved — both participants and sponsors — when carried out correctly, as it results in richer evidence, better policy, and a public that feels truly empowered and engaged in the policy decisions that directly affect them.