A group of speakers from GCHQ spoke about how they had introduced innovation into their department, saying “if we can innovate, really anyone can innovate.”
They were given a £1 million budget for innovation, and set up an internal crowdfunding-style website called OneShot (similar to Kickstarter), allowing anyone to pitch their ideas for a project.
But who decided which projects were funded? 100 junior staff members were each given a £10,000 budget to allocate to the projects they thought were best. The way the junior staff were chosen was simple – they had to ask for it, they had to be a junior staff (not managing another member of staff), and had to have never managed a budget before.
This project has been an incredible success. “We have funded some projects, but more importantly, we’ve created a community.” They found that the junior staff members took this responsibility incredibly seriously – “having a finite amount of resource meant that people were much more discerning about what they chose to fund.”
So far they have already resolved 24 different issues within the department – but, as they said, “we have funded some projects, but more importantly, we’ve created a community.” The system has really helped to improve morale, as staff really feel like they can make a difference to the department.