CTO: Innovation help wanted

Sometimes, it’s essential for an entrepreneurial-minded chief technology officer to use an evangelist’s zeal to promote innovation.

At the Health and Human Services Department, CTO Todd Park helps run a program called HHS Innovates, which encourages employees to think like innovators because it's good for their careers.


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Employees have submitted more than 125 ideas for changing some part of the agency’s operations for the better, and now their peers can vote for their favorites. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will pick three winners from the finalists this summer. Winners will receive a cash award and the chance to pitch their ideas to the secretary for possible implementation agencywide. HHS plans to conduct the competition every six months.

“Rather than add an 87th criterion to the annual appraisal that says, ‘Be innovative,’ we decided this is a much more potent way of actually making innovation [be] seen as something that can help you advance in your career,” Park said.

 

About the Author

Alan Joch is a freelance writer based in New Hampshire.

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