San Antonio Public Library, Texas
The Idea Incubator is a project that was initiated by San Antonio Public Library staff feedback to surveys related to employee engagement. An outlet and process was needed for staff to propose ideas and to aid supervisors in helping staff develop ideas in order to implement system-wide change.
Before implementing the Idea Incubator, a constant challenge was that ideas for new programs, projects and processes would often stay stuck with either an individual or team. With the Idea Incubator, team members have an outlet for ideas to be properly shared through a transparent process. The process to submit an idea also serves as an incredible opportunity for team members to form well-developed strategies and gives employees a voice in driving change.
Through the internal Staffweb, all staff are encouraged to submit proposals for change. All proposals are immediately viewable by the entire organization and staff are then provided with assistance with implementing their ideas, big and small. The Idea Incubator itself encourages innovation and provides the opportunity for each team member to get involved in shaping their library system. The portal also showcases a process flow and automatically updates what process each idea is in.
Over 25 ideas have been submitted and are in varying stages within the process map. We have implemented these ideas fully: Creation of a gaming and e-sports committee and initiative, printing of palm cards for all restrooms for patrons in abusive relationships including information for local resources, the creation of a Toastmaster’s club for SAPL employees, comic books have been added to the digital collection and paperless library card applications are now available.