Innovation Happens Everywhere

Last month I missed i.e*, an innovation event that Floricane helped shape with more than a dozen other Richmond organizations. I followed the Twitter stream and read all of the articles. I was a bit disappointed to miss it – but I know innovation isn’t a one day event.

I missed i.e.* for a good reason -- I was in a room with the staff of the University of Richmond's Bonner Center for Civic Engagement.

The Bonner Center team brought our team in to facilitate a two-day staff planning session; I facilitated the second day while i.e.* was happening.

It was so rewarding to watch this group of passionate people wrestle difficult issues to arrive at a shared consensus. Aside from getting to know each other better and watching programs connect before their eyes, this team did something truly brilliant – they put a stake in the ground. As a group, they began with a statement, “We are going to transform…”

Like I said, innovation is not a one-day event. Over the course of their two days with our team (me, John Sarvay and Cara McDaniel), the Bonner Center team crafted a strategic direction that was robust and scary and exciting. Our team works well together. John is a big dreamer and storyteller; I like to get stuff done; and neither of us minds pushing our clients to go there with us.

Together – teams of people move, change, transform. This past week, we sat down with the Virginia Oral Health Coalition to make their upcoming board retreat extraordinary.

Over the past year of working at Floricane I have learned wonderful things. I have seen first hand the innovative work happening in this region and have been in the room while serious and imaginative work has happened. Sometimes serious work is a staff retreat. Sometimes it's leading a fresh young board through a day of creativity.

No matter where in Richmond it happens, innovative thinking is having an impact.