“Innovation is a learned organizational capability. You must train people how to innovate and navigate organizational barriers that kill off good ideas before they can be tested.”(Kaihan Krippendorff, https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/agile) To face change forces, innovation and continuous improvement must be built into the fabric of the agency and become part of its “secret sauce.” In this way they can be thought of as capabilities in their own rights that become part of the agency culture. They create an environment where staff are empowered and encouraged to make low risk changes to improve productivity, and where IT systems are flexible to support them.
Innovation and continuous improvement also become enablers for developing other capabilities. For instance, a DOT that is implementing an action plan to improve its capability to collaborate and coordinate with its partners might take an iterative approach to work with its MPOs. Part of its capability-building effort could include annual reviews of the health and qualitative effectiveness of the collaborative relationship. Adjustments could be made to address any gaps in collaboration based on that review.