Innovation 2020 is Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada's (ISED) approach to public service renewal and is inspired by the Blueprint 2020 vision. It is our way forward, and it all starts with ISED employees transforming the way we innovate and connect.
Implementing the Innovation 2020 vision has been a transformative experience and we've grown along the way. In this report, we would like to share the many concrete examples of how Innovation 2020 is moving us forward and present some of the lessons we've learned.
At ISED, we have effectively reinvigorated how we attract, retain and develop top talent.
In order to better serve Canadians, we recruited and integrated 561 new employees, including over 42 from outside the public service and others from other federal departments, representing many professional disciplines across Canada into our organization. We are always seeing examples of our employees making the best use of their own talents and those of their colleagues.
In October, the ISED Managers' Community held a departmental forum on meeting the challenge of innovation management. This event brought together over 120 ISED managers, senior government officials (including Michael Wernick, Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet) and leaders from the private and not-for-profit sectors to discuss what it takes to build an innovative culture and organization in a competitive domestic or global economy. Participants were provided with information and tools to help them support the recruitment and integration of new employees, empower smart risk-taking and develop their own leadership competencies.
As champion for the ISED Managers' Community, I have developed a deeper understanding of the strengths and challenges we face. I am struck by your openness and by your desire to work together to deliver on our department and portfolio's very broad mandate in all of the regions of Canada. Your willingness to engage is at the core of what Innovation 2020 is all about.
At ISED we recognize that nurturing a culture of innovation is the key to continuously improving the public service and serving Canadians in the spirit of the Blueprint 2020 vision. We remain committed to creating a healthy and safe work environment that encourages creativity and innovation among all employees.
Our department's initiatives for creating a healthy workplace are built on strong existing practices that support our workforce and their mental health. Providing a space for open and stigma-free dialogue on mental health issues that is based on compassion and honesty is just one of the many priorities that ISED has put in place to foster employee ingenuity and innovation.
We also know that the most innovative organizations are able to listen, stay open to new and diverse ideas or opinions, collaborate, and embrace risk or even failure.
To support this culture of innovation, ISED employees took advantage of the many programs and initiatives available that support employee mental health such as the Respectful, Healthy and Inclusive Workplace Initiative (RHIW) and events offered by ISED's Inclusiveness Committee and the Conflict Prevention and Early Resolution (CPER) office. ISED employees who took part reported that they were able to:
- carry out difficult dialogues with colleagues related to workplace health and well-being with greater ease;
- feel "heard" and valued for their unique point of view on subjects relating to the workplace;
- work more collaboratively as a team;
- develop a greater awareness and appreciation of the diverse workforce that currently exists at ISED; and
- experience enhanced levels of engagement among employees and managers related to workplace health and well-being.
Check out our video for an overview of the services available through the RHIW initiative, ISED's Inclusiveness Committee and the CPER office:
Here's what our employees had to say about their experience with some of our programs:
The RHIW toolkit is great and works well. Each of our workshops was slightly different and tailored to meet the needs of our situation. This required upfront work in preparation, but was well worth it.
—Katherine Turner, Manager of Program Delivery, Strategic Policy Sector, Thunder Bay
The CPER course I took on giving and receiving feedback was fantastic! I was provided the necessary support so I could learn from the experience and act independently rather than simply provide pre-determined solutions. This course is truly a good balance between theory, exercises and discussions.
—Nathalie Delisle, A/Director, Security and Emergency Management, National Capital Region
Thanks to the events organized by the ISED Inclusiveness Committee, I gained a lot of insight from chief inclusion officers in the private sector that I would not have had otherwise. One key message that stood out for me was how employees are 3.5 times more likely to contribute their full and innovative potential at work if you simply cultivate a 'speak-up' culture in your workplace.
—Margot Geduld, Internal Communications Manager, Communications and Marketing Branch, National Capital Region
When it comes to creating a truly inclusive workplace, we like to go beyond the traditional concepts of employment equity and diversity to actually build an inclusive, healthy, respectful and supportive work environment. The Department's strength lies in its people, and the greatest sources of that strength are the multiple backgrounds, life experiences and perspectives we bring to our work and our interactions with one another.
Over the last year, ISED employees have continued to demonstrate that they are engaged in our mandate and are true innovators, strong collaborators and smart risk-takers.
One example that truly showcases ISED's strength in collaborating, consulting and being open with Canadians is our current work in building our country as a global centre of innovation.
To achieve this vision, ISED reached out to and heard from experts, corporate leaders and the Canadian public through 30 formal innovation round tables, dozens of one-on-one interviews, social media outreach, self-organized meetings and events, and online submissions. As a result of this successful collaboration, ISED now has more than 1,400 ideas from Canadians that it can use in its plan to turn the country into a nation of innovators.