In a recent Finger Lakes Times column, Geneva Mayor Ron Alcock and City Manager Matt Horn explained the City’s new Civic Innovation Hub (www.ideasgeneva.com). They wrote, “This is the front door to City Council’s recently adopted Innovation Strategy. This is your chance to identify opportunities for our city to become a model community in so many areas. Inside the Hub, you will find simple tools to help you develop your idea into reality. You will find a team of innovation facilitators and subject matter advisors to help you shape your concept into a facility, program or service that may launch Geneva even closer to greatness.”
Among the tools in the Hub is an archive of Community Based Research (CBR) Projects completed by Hobart and William Smith Colleges students. The archive of projects is available on the site to allow visitors to see if research has already been conducted on the topic in which they’re interested.
The full article about the Hub follows. The projects can be found online.
Finger Lakes Times
Innovation: It’s everyone’s job
Ron Alcock and Matt Horn • July 8, 2012
Voices from the Hall
The 2012 city budget opens with a pretty simple concept. While every city employee has a specific set of duties, each job description, each performance evaluation, and each work day should begin with our primary responsibility: making Geneva great. Members of our staff focus on this incessantly. They are constantly challenged by the city manager, City Council and our community to look for new ways to add value for taxpayer investment. We see it as each employee’s responsibility to constantly look at their job and ask: How can this be done better? How does this add value? In other words, how is this making Geneva a better place to live, work or visit? If every city employee is doing that, it should be enough, right? We’re not so sure.
Each City Council term begins with a visioning session to determine the key focus areas – or “strategic imperatives for success” – for the ensuing four years. This year City Council made an important observation in that, while our staffing chart contains a vast wealth of knowledge, experience and ability, it represents only a fraction of the energy and capacity of our community. Council deemed “talent capitalization” one of its strategic imperatives and challenged staff and each other to harness the incredible knowledge resources ripening in our business and not-for-profit partners, as well as our residents.
Enter the Civic Innovation Hub (www.ideasgeneva.com). This is the front door to City Council’s recently adopted Innovation Strategy. This is your chance to identify opportunities for our city to become a model community in so many areas. Inside the Hub, you will find simple tools to help you develop your idea into reality. You will find a team of innovation facilitators and subject matter advisors to help you shape your concept into a facility, program or service that may launch Geneva even closer to greatness.
Vince Lombardi once said, “The price of success is hard work,” and that is most certainly the case here. The Innovation Hub is not a place where you drop off an idea at the door and say “good luck with that.” Instead, if your idea is recognized as something that could be key to our success, a requirement for advancement is that you, the civic innovator, participate in its implementation.
Did you ever wonder why traffic lights are timed the way they are? Or have an idea about how to increase city revenues? Or see a parks program in another community that you thought would really be successful in Geneva? We want to hear it. We want to help you develop it. And, most importantly, we want to celebrate with you when it’s heralded as a great success!
How about those simple observations that an existing city service or community partner could easily address if we just knew about it? Graffiti, potholes, overgrown lots … it’s a big city, and our team is relatively small. We’ve got an app for that. Visit the city website or the Innovation Hub and check out SeeClickFix. This is a new tool that puts you on our team. You can report property maintenance or city facility issues, graffiti, street light outages … all the little things that can add up quickly. Our team takes these very seriously. The city was recently ranked No. 17 of hundreds of nationwide SeeClickFix users in terms of responsiveness.
We’ve got hundreds of applications on file from lots of you out there who are seeking to become city employees. The Civic Innovation Hub and SeeClickFix are two opportunities to prove that you’ve got what it takes to contribute to job duty No. 1: Making Geneva Great.
Mayor Ron Alcock and City Manager Matt Horn team up for their monthly column, “Voices From the Hall.” Alcock can be contacted at email@example.com; Horn can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.