Reimagining elections:
Sparking innovation in a government agency

Elections Ontario is creating a future ready voting experience for Ontarians. They engaged us to help them build their capability to modernize provincial elections by shifting the culture from traditional to innovative.

Culture is a tough nut to crack, so our program addressed it from every angle: bottom up, top down and middle out. All players were invited and enabled to act their way into new ways of thinking and being and use their organizational roles and influence to activate change. We introduced one third of the organization, from executive to staff levels, to the principles, tools, and techniques of design thinkers, identifying champions and strengthening innovation leadership. Through an organizational capabilities assessment, we identified the learning needs of the organization and supported an action learning program through intense coaching and workshop experiences. Participants were immersed in incremental and iterative skill development in real-world situations, building in levels of difficulty and risk.

Elections Ontario staff, with our support, designed and facilitated a co-creation workshop with field staff and returning officers as part of the debrief process following the 2014 General Election. This learning program built their capability to lead that session and future innovation interventions, and enabled the creation of an innovation team focused on using a human-centred design approach to developing the electoral process of the future. This is changing the behaviours and beliefs around how Elections Ontario does its work and designs for the future.