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Stages of development towards an innovating organisation?

I am asked to identify four stages of organisation development towards an innovating organisation. The idea is that we use this in discussions within my organisation and discussions with our partner organisations to find our where we are in our organisational development processes to become a more innovative organisation.

So far, these are my first ideas:

Stage 1: The organisation sticks to its traditional way of working and is not innovating.

Stage 2: Innovation does sometimes occur within the organisation, based on the actions of a small number of individuals. Time and resources are made available for innovation on an ad-hoc or limited basis. There are no formal processes within the organisation to support innovation within the organisation.

Stage 3: The organisation recognises that innovation is needed to respond to organisational and programmatic challenges. Resources and time for innovation (e.g. pilot projects) are made available as a standard practice.  There are some formal processes to support the introduction and mainstreaming of innovations within the organisation.

Stage 4: Innovation is well-integrated into planning and implementation processes.  Time and resources are made available for innovation.  Learning from innovative ways of working and projects have been integrated into the planning and process cycles.  Innovative projects have moved beyond trials and are now part of mainstream projects.

Does this make any sense? Do you have any ideas to improve this and make it clearer?


A call to action

My pitch for the online platform for big developments projects. This initiative is part of A Call 2 Action.

Developing an online platform for development projects

The 1%Club, Akvo and others have started using online platforms to present and monitor relatively small-scale development projects, to build communities of supporters for each of these projects and to facilitate learning between the projects. These new ways of working, often referred to as development cooperation 2.0, have a lot of potential to be scaled-up and enable transparency, participation and learning in the bigger projects that receive a lot of the available development funds and involving the bigger international development organisations.

As part of the A Call 2 Action (#AC2A) initiative, a group has been formed that aims to explore the potential of an online platform for bigger development projects. This Action Plan outlines the process we envision to develop an online platform (with the working title Insight-out) where bigger development projects are monitored in a transparent way, where all participants in a project can form an online community around that project, and where learning between projects is facilitated. As far as we know, there are no such existing online platforms for biger development projects. By piloting such a platform for bigger developments projects, we aim to learn what organisational changes are needed in development organisations to become active on such online platforms and how it will change the way of working of bigger development players.


Transparency: the aim is to develop an online platform where development players are transparent about what they do in their projects and what results they are (not) achieving.

Participation: the aim is to develop an online platform that facilitates online communities around development projects. These project participants can be both people/organisations/companies that support the project (for example through funding or expertise) as well as people/organisations/companies that are being supported.

Learning: the aim is to develop an online platform that facilitates knowledge sharing between projects and between stakeholders on the online platform. By systematically tagging and mapping all project data and content (manuals, methodologies, etc.), existing knowledge and experience is more effectively shared and found.

Deliverables for #AC2A in 2011

At least three bigger projects have participated in the pilot and have been presented on an existing online platform and have been monitored real time online.

Online communities have been founded around these three projects that are made up by people/organisations/companies directly supporting or funding the projects and by people/organisations/companies that are directly being supported by the projects.

The project data of these online projects is tagged and searchable so it can be used for learning by others.

A final lessons learnt document is developed, describing the challenges encountered by the organisations that have piloted their projects on the online platform, describing the requirements of an online platform that can deliver on the goals listed above, and recommending ways forwards.

Approach: How to develop the online platform?

Step 1: Identification of projects

Step 2: Identification of the requirements for real time monitoring

  • Decide what kind of monitoring data / project data will be published
  • Map where / how this data will be collected
  • Develop manual on collecting and sharing data for real time monitoring
  • Decide on exceptions when certain data cannot be shared and describe processes to be followed
  • Identify and log all challenges encountered within participating organisations with regard to real time monitoring.

Step 3: Identification of the requirements for online community building

  • Outline the opportunities of online community building around projects
  • Collect ideas on how to stimulate/facilitate online communities around projects
  • Identify (innovative) ways to get feedback on projects and project results from both supporters as well as people that should have been supported by the projects.
  • Map / clarify the consequences of direct online project funding (opportunities and threats) for participating organisations.
  • In each participating organisation decide on a direct project funding model (incl. online payment tool and back-end arrangement for the tied funding)
  • Identify and log all challenges encountered within participating organisations with regard to online community building in general and direct online project funding in particular.

Step 4: Identification of the requirements for learning between online projects

  • Outline the opportunities of facilitating learning between the online projects
  • Collect ideas on how to stimulate/facilitate learning between the online projects:
  • Decide on process: how does knowledge / experience need to be shared and exchanged (e.g. workflow and form/packaging/tagging) on the online platform
  • Decide on content: what (type of) knowledge needs to be shared and exchanged (e.g. data and information, sills and competences).

Step 5: Bringing it all together on an online platform

  • Identify existing online platforms for smaller projects that can be used to pilot real time monitoring, online community building (including feedback from online community on project results and direct and tied project funding) and facilitation of learning related to bigger projects (>EUR 50.000).
  • Present the identified projects on one or various existing online platforms
  • Identify and log missing functions.

Step 6: Implementation

  • Keep projects up-to-date and project communities updated by adding continuous real time monitoring data.
  • Stimulate, facilitate the online project communities
  • Stimulate, facilitate sharing of learning between the projects
  • Identify and log all successes and challenges encountered during the implementation

Step 7: Evaluation and Recommendations for way forward

  • Collect and discuss all logs with information on the process
  • Communicate on a continuous basis on the developments
  • Organise reflection workshop with participating organisations
  • Ask feedback from online project communities
  • Bring it all together in a learning document with clear recommendations on ways forward


Oxfam Novib workshop Ontwikkelingssamenwerking 2.0

Deze workshop wordt aanstaande maandag 17 augustus van 14.00 tot 18.00 uur gehouden in The Hub in Rotterdam (in het kader van The Hub Summerschool)

Bob Overbeeke van Oxfam Novib zal zo nodig eerst kort wat vertellen / presenteren over web 2.0: wat is het, wat is er veranderd op het web?

Vervolgens zal hij ingaan op het organisatiedenken dat hier mee samenhangt: je bedrijf/organisatie als netwerk/platform, zelforganisatie, controle uit handen geven, co-creatie, etc. Dit zal eventueel nog aangevuld worden met wat lessen uit het boek What Would Google Do?

Dan kijken we wat dit betekent voor Oxfam Novib en ontwikkelingssamenwerking in het algemeen:

– Voor welke uitdagingen staan we als Oxfam Novib en als OS sector?

– Wat doet Oxfam Novib al?

Vertegenwoordigers van,,, (Worknets) en zullen dan gevraagd worden kort wat over hun OS 2.0 benadering te vertellen. En er is voldoende tijd om hierover vragen te stellen en te discussieren.

Tijdens de presentaties en discussies worden de belangrijkste elementen van OS 2.0 op een rijtje gezet, zodat we tenslotte op basis van deze kernbegrippen kunnen gaan brainstormen hoe OS 2.0 eruit zou zien. Is daarin nog een rol voor organisaties als Oxfam Novib?

Als je geinteresseerd bent kun je je aanmelden via twitter @arjencito