2017 Semifinalist
County of Hennepin, MN
January 1, 2017

The Center of Innovation and Excellence (CIE) in Hennepin County government has generated refreshed energy in fostering a culture of problem solving, problem prevention, continuous improvement, and creating a new future. The CIE uses innovative methods and strategies to engage employees and the community. Today, the philosophy of the department is to move the organization toward creating a culture of innovation. Problem solving and problem prevention are still offered in research and policy analysis with a new emphasis on program evaluation. Continuous improvement projects have used LEAN and Six Sigma management methodologies to offer Kaizen events for contracting, human services, land acquisition, and the library. Change management is also offered through CIE. In addition, a new set of tools has been introduced to help Hennepin County create a new future, including design thinking and service design, Systematic Inventive Thinking (SIT), and civic engagement. While many of these practices were not new to the county or local industry, this new presentation offers a range of services and possibilities to engage county operations, human services, health, public works, and public safety.