Liverpool City Council Innovation Strategy

Liverpool City Council is establishing itself as a hub of innovation. Astrolabe Group worked with the Innovation team at Council to develop a strategy that supports Council to be a leader and collaborator in innovation locally, nationally and globally.

Astrolabe Group was engaged by Liverpool City Council to support its development of an Innovation Strategy. The Innovation Strategy is Council’s commitment to supporting innovation both in their organisation and the community.

“Innovation is not just about big ideas, rather it is about people seeing how things can be done differently and working to achieve it. People working to do things in new ways means innovation is about the innovators – the people who look at the world, see things differently, and do something about it.” – Innovation Strategy, p5

To develop the strategy with Council, key tasks included a literature review, engagement, and co-design opportunities with the community and with internal staff. We also led professional development workshops for staff to build capacity in design thinking approaches to projects. Using our approach of research,engagement, co-design and capacity building to guide project development provided a rigorous methodology to inform delivery of a comprehensive strategy that met the unique needs of Council.

An innovation strategy allows a systematic method in finding new ways of meeting the needs of the people who live in Liverpool and those who travel to Liverpool for work and play. This innovation strategy then is a tool that will help Liverpool City Council deliver the Community Strategy Plan, making sure everyone in the community is part of the process.

It also allows the council to be a leader in the community, supporting and showcasing new ways of doing things.  To support the strategy, an accompanying implementation roadmap including testing of implementation tools and milestones was also developed. 

How we worked with Liverpool City Council

The first stage of this project required a review of the policy landscape within NSW and nationally, and an assessment of the global literature to determine key attributes needed for the LCC strategy. Outcomes from the literature review, including a review of the LCC Community Strategic Plan, informed the community engagement plan and an early outline for the strategy.  

Liverpool City Council Community Workshop
Community workshop - Using an Innovation Audit to assess capabilities and readiness

Astrolabe Group led two community workshops, developing a framework that focused on innovation success factors identified in the literature. An online community survey was developed focusing on the themes of LCC Community Strategic Plan and how they could relate to innovative practice.

To help inform the strategy development but also with a focus on capacity building, two staff workshops were provided. An innovation workshop that focused on building tools for exploration and understanding included having staff interview one another to find insights into opportunities for collaboration and innovation in the works place.

Liverpool City Council Innovation Workshop
Liverpool City Council Innovation Workshop
Liverpool City Council Design Thinking Workshop
Design Thinking Workshop - Exploring innovation for the city experience

The second workshop in design thinking saw staff complete a design sprint where they generated ideas, prototyped and tested new tools to improve the city experience. These provided feedback for the strategy and trialed new ways of working that could accompany the Innovation Strategy implementation.

All activities undertaken throughout the research, engagement and capacity building process contributed to the preparation of the strategy. We used a co-design approach with staff from LCC who actively contributed to the content development and ensured objectives reflected all current initiatives and goals of council. 

The Innovation strategy was approved by Council on 6 February 2019.

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