What if Collaboration


In this age of open government, the call for transparency and meaningful engagement in the work of communities and organizations requires fresh approaches that engage, are fun and produce powerful results. Our collaborative processes and facilitated games, such as the award-winning Innovation Games®, help organizations solve complex problems using collaborative play to tap into the game-changing insights and innovations that break things open and get real work done. Whether you are developing or improving a program or service, seeking to better understand the needs of your community, making difficult budget choices, or catalyzing a strategy for a new direction, our collaborative processes get you there faster, smarter and with full engagement.

Read all about the use of Innovation Games® by municipalities for citizen engagement in the following two articles:

From an article called “Making Sense of The Games Politicians Play" by Brendan Greeley August 30, 2012 in the Bloomberg Business Week, Kip Harkness, San Jose’s senior project manager shared the following thoughts.

“One Saturday morning last year, about 90 leaders of neighborhood associations in San Jose gathered in small groups to play a game. Each person had a roll of fake money, from which he or she could pay for city services—like beat cops or libraries. Each group lacked enough money to cover the city’s budget. “We intentionally, just like reality, gave them far less money to buy the things they wanted,” says By morning’s end, all the groups had agreed to run the city’s fire trucks with one less fireman each to save money. City council members adopted that change in San Jose’s actual budget last summer. At the same meetup this year, residents agreed to eliminate paid overtime for city managers, and six of 10 groups were willing to raise their sales tax by 0.25 percentage points, which the city is now considering. “I really haven’t had anyone tell me this is a waste of time,” says Harkness. “That’s pretty incredible when you’re talking about budgets.”

For more on the topic check out the following 2 sites:

Making Sense of the Games Politicians Play

Playing the Budget Game

What If! Collaboration’s processes have been used by governments and private sector companies in Canada and the U.S. For more information, contact our Associate Carol Gover at carol@whatifcollaboration.com. Get more information at What If Collaboration