Case Studies

Designing Postive Measures for the Public Sector
Written by: Jolene Dilny


The Official Languages Act, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) has long since been providing services and programs to support the Official Languages Minority Communities (OLMC) across Canada to help promote economic vitality to foster a sense of community.

OLMC’s refers to English speaking individuals who reside within Québec and French speaking individuals residing outside of Québec. These communities represent a significant portion of the Canadian population that live in a community where services in their mother tongue are essential for encouraging a sense of belonging, cultural identity, growth and contribution to society.

PSPC identified the need to review their current positive measures and enhance performance indicators to assess their impact on the OLMC’s. An added challenge to this request was that PSPC had resource constraints for accomplishing this task.
Various stakeholders and representatives of the OLMC’s came together for  two Design Thinking workshops.  Participants engaged with Design Thinking strategies where they were encouraged to unleash personal creativity by drawing the meaning of positive measures in order to understand how to measure them to reveal their impact. This was extremely helpful in getting to know one another better and breaking down barriers amongst the organizations and government representatives.

By building personas and using the brainstorming technique, stakeholders could empathize with their clients understand better what the end-user would feel, hear, see while using PSPC’s services. Four personas were developed to better understand each type of end client’s challenges so, services and positive measures could be added and enhanced to better meet their needs.
One of the positive outcomes and key measurements of the Design Thinking approach for the OLMC programs offered by PSPC is the level of collaboration and partnerships formed between organizations to reach the end goal of the client. During the plenary session, two PSPC stakeholders that were not directly involved in the OLMC services realized that by working collaboratively, they could solve one of the basic challenges facing the OLMC communities. Additionally, another result of the brainstorming sessions was increasing understanding and awareness of the current tools, like the Hotel Card. The project owners were blown away with the amount of information that came out of the sessions.
Design Thinking helped stakeholders to identify and solve their challenges, helped them get to their goals and meet their needs all while keeping the end citizen in mind and what they wanted to achieve.

Developing Innovation Labs:

Spring 2 Innovation created three Innovation Labs for an organization. These labs were designed to innovate around the following areas: leadership, collaboration, and technology. The Innovation Lab participants began with meeting once a month (for four months).

Time is valuable to an organization, so we planned out in advance how the structure and framework for the labs would look in order to spend time the most effectively. We worked with leaders and champions to create 5 to 7 challenges for each of the labs to solve.

One criteria in selecting the challenges for this organization was that the lab should be able to implement the solutions within six to eighteen months.  For each lab, the success criteria was developed and shared with the leaders and based on their feedback those metrics were tweaked and finalized in order to measure their success.

During the initial phase of the project, all participants were required to participate in a preliminary training session on innovation to help develop a shared understanding of what innovation could be, what it means to them and the organization.  Prior to each lab, we provided pre-lab homework so participants could think about ideas before the sessions.

Each lab selected the challenges they wanted to solve, worked on ways of resolving those challenges, and ultimately created action plans for implementing the solutions they had come up with.  In addition to the planning and processes around the labs, we facilitated lab discussions; guiding their conversations while allowing everyone’s unique ideas to filter through.

The feedback from the leaders and the participants were extremely positive and appreciative. The labs increased enthusiasm and engagement of the lab participants. At the end of the labs, one of the champions shared with the participants that before the labs she didn’t fully understand innovation and that it didn’t feel concrete. She couldn’t touch it or feel it but, that after taking part in the Innovation Labs – she understands innovation better, what it means and what is possible.

Full success of innovation lies in capturing ideas, developing them and then implementing those ideas.

Many organizations develop innovation plans without a clear framework for implementing ideas and solutions, thus never turning those ideas into reality. Part of our role in engaging organizations is to help ensure that these ideas turn into implemented actions, helping these organizations operate at their full potential and see their ideas realized!

We help create the processes and governance around innovation so your organization can focus on what it does best!

Contact Spring2 Innovation to find out more about how your organization can get more out of innovation efforts and reach untapped potential!