Lisa Carlucci Thomas, Director, Dissemination & Implementation, Center for Social Innovation (C4), said that C4’s goal since its founding in 2006 has been to share innovative practices. Innovation is an opportunity to disseminate to social scientists how to stay innovative in behavioral health and housing and social services. Needs of mobile users were considered; a platform called Omega was developed. The product was PIH (Public and Indian Housing), a 9-module curriculum suite with multimedia. The next products were Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA), and Continuum of Care (CoC). Adobe Captivate was used to create tools instead of developing their own from scratch, but it could not meet the accessibility needs of the government. They learned that information up front before doing product development is necessary to meet the needs of the client and the users. Innovation is not straightforward; figuring out the processes is challenging.
Innovation in products
How do we apply different approaches to meet a need?: Traditional websites, dynamic websites, or content-based. The users liked the content-based approach because it showed all the content pathways up front. It is important to document the progress and the standards that worked.
Innovation in opportunities
This is an ongoing learning process, so you look for opportunities to apply what you have learned. Talk face-to-face with people who might use the product.
Innovation in teams
Make sure everyone has the capacity to experiment. Hire well for innovation. Define roles clearly. Common experiences are important.