Innovative thinking is one major key to the success of all organizations.
This article focuses on the nonprofit sector (but also is applicable to the public sector) and resonates with what we are proposing for the local governments currently managing the Parkway, to become more innovative in their thinking and learn from the examples of other successful park management’s innovative strategies resulting in supplemental funding, better maintenance, and land acquisition for park expansion.
Innovation at Work: Helping Nonprofits Raise the Bar on Ingenuity
Innovation is a big buzzword in business today, having been described as the key ingredient that will keep the United States ahead of its overseas competition. But innovation is vital to success in the nonprofit world as well. Organizations that use innovation to propel themselves forward are leading others in the quest for funding and other resources. They are learning, however, that to infuse innovative thinking into a culture requires thinking strategically, rather than tactically. This strategic approach requires more than just encouragement and open-mindedness. It requires commitment to systems and processes that can create new solutions to old challenges.
Many successful nonprofits have built momentum based on innovative strides. Catholic Charities formed a partnership with Catholic Health Association to "deliver innovative services that improve the lives of individuals, families and communities." The Ford Foundation, founded in 1936, defines itself today as "a resource for innovative people and institutions worldwide." The United Way has set out to "find innovative solutions to transportation needs through partnerships with businesses, nonprofits and public agencies." For these nonprofit leaders, innovation is a core strategy for the growth of their organizations.
Some organizations claim to be innovative but fail to do it well. Others are clueless about where to begin. Although most leaders agree they would like their organizations to be more innovative in problem solving, they may fall short on having a plan to achieve that goal. But if innovation is in fact the new road to growth, companies will need to know how either to enhance innovation in the workplace or at the very least to get out of the way when it happens.