innovation lab

Make Innovation a Core Value

Position innovation as a core organizational attribute that helps agencies unlock the potential to make progress on tough mission-driven goals like safety, mobility, and preservation.  Innovation is one of four agency-wide ‘values’ embedded at Caltrans in its 2015-20 Strategic Management Plan, alongside ‘integrity,’ ‘commitment,’ and ‘teamwork.’ The Plan is built around a mission and vision, together with five core goals and related objectives. Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty and his senior team see their leadership role in terms of linking the Department’s core strategic direction to a push for innovation.

  • Align innovation with agency strategic goals – Since starting at Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) six years ago, ITD’s Director Brian Ness has established three strategic mission focus areas for the agency that include safety, mobility, and economic growth and opportunity. Leadership’s role at ITD in establishing an innovation culture emphasizes directing innovation towards ITD’s strategic goals.

  • Wildly Important Goals (WIGs) – WIGs are the central element to Sean Covey’s The 4 Disciplines of Execution, and this influential management approach has emerged as a key driver of innovation at MnDOT. It provides a simple, repeatable formula for executing on an organization’s most important strategic priorities. The four disciplines include:

    • Focusing on the wildly important;

    • Acting on lead measures;

    • Keeping a compelling scoreboard; and

    • Creating a cadence of accountability.


Innovative-supportive culture: The impact of organizational values on process innovation.: This paper explores how organizational values ‒ a foundational building block of culture ‒ impact a particular process innovation.