Innovation Academy

The Innovation Academy is a tested framework to strengthen the culture of innovation in your organization that supports your innovative projects.

Graduated 54 organizations from the Innovation Academy and over 550 individuals.

A tested framework to strengthen the culture of innovation in your organization and provide support for developing an innovative project in your community. 

Graduates will learn:

  • Understand the innovation process and how to integrate it into your organization.
  • Build cross functional teams which have the capacity to address organizational and community issues.
  • Expand organizational capacity for ongoing innovation.
  • Learn more about your organizational culture and how to cultivate leadership.
  • Undertake a new project which will make a contribution to the organization and/or address a community issue along with action plan development for increasing internal capacity to build an innovative culture.
  • Build a network of Innovation Academy Alumni for networking and sharing of lessons learned.  

Your team will learn:

“Being part of the Innovation Academy has been a great investment for the City of Charlottesville.  The Academy provided us with the resources, and more importantly, the knowledge to improve efficiencies and engagement in our community.” Jason Ness, Business Development Manager, City of Charlottesville, VA

  • What is Innovation
  • Setting the Stage to Build Culture of Innovation:  Leadership, Building the Team, and Key Roles and Responsibilities 
  • Problem Solving/Opportunity Clarification
  • Idea Generating
  • Prototyping and Experimentation
  • Implementation, Evaluation, and Scaling

Two ways to engage:  

Virtual Academy: Participate Virtually with up to 10 Organizations

  • Build your innovation team of up to twelve individuals
  • Assigned a team mentor
  • Nine interactive virtual sessions delivered monthly from August - April
  • Interactive sessions consisting of team discussions and guest faculty sharing practical examples
  • Provided with an Innovation Playbook, suggested readings, and stimulating tools and exercises for team development.  
  • Two assessments conducted and teams provided summary reports and discussion guide: the Organization Assessment looking at how your organization approached innovation and the Individual Assessment Survey looking at individual characteristics and team composition

“The City of Knoxville has had several projects implemented which had their origins in our work in the Innovation Academy. From our highly successful Ambassador program, which has been mimicked by other cities, to our work with senior citizens and mobile devices.” Russ Jensen, Director of 311, City of Knoxville, TN

  • Undertake a new project that is meaningful to the team and have lasting impact on the organization
  • Develop an action plan of qualities needed and specific measures to expand the innovation capacity of your organization.
  • Innovation Advance (optional)*

Academy OnSight:  Bring it to Your Organization

  • Content delivered on-site over two half-day sessions for up to 25 participants
  • Interactive sessions, consisting of team discussions and faculty sharing practical examples
  • Provided an Innovation Playbook, suggested readings, and stimulating tools and exercises for team development
  • Organizational Assessment, looking at how your organization approaches innovation, will be conducted and a summary analysis will be provided
  • Innovation Advance (optional)*

About the Leadership Innovation Advance  

It starts at the top. Organizations which cultivate and demonstrate an Innovation Leadership Culture are most effective in implementing and sustaining innovative solutions over time. The Innovation Advance is a customized onsite three-hour workshop for up to 20 leaders of Academy participant governments to support and encourage their organizations’ capacity for innovation. 

Graduation and Alumni Program

Participating organizations will be recognized in front of their peers at the Transforming Local Government Conference.  In addition, participants can continue their learning and networking experience through participation in the Alumni program with over 500 other individuals from graduating organizations. 

Contact Us

Please email us or call 888.496.0944, Extension 103 to obtain more information.  

Innovation Academy Graduates

Strengthening the Culture of Innovation in Local Government

Joining These Graduating Organizations:

Interested in participating? Email