Welcome to the Oswegoland Park District’s Innovation Lab! Your ideas, comments, and feedback are encouraged! All ideas are welcomed, big and small! If your idea is related to pay and/or benefits, it will be addressed to Human Resources.

How to Submit your Idea 

  • Select "+Add a new one"
  • Fill out the form 

Under Review: All ideas will be labeled “under review” until a decision is made. It will be reviewed no later than 90 days after posting. Each idea is rated based on:

  • Feasible – How feasible is this idea to implement?
  • Effective – Will the idea have a clear outcome/impact to show effectiveness?
  • Values – How well does the idea align with our Values of integrity, collaboration, and innovation?
  • Strategic Themes – How does the idea serve our Strategic Themes of Land & Facilities, Fiscal Awareness, Customer Experience, and Employee Engagement?

Decision Time

  • Selected: Congratulations! Your idea is leaving the lab and being put into practice! You will be receiving an ATOM (Adding to Our Mission) award. The Values Team will work with the appropriate departments to identify project leader(s) to implement.
  • Not Selected: Unfortunately, some ideas are not selected. If we do not select an idea, you will receive a notice in the Innovation Lab with an explanation of the team’s decision.
  • Big Ticket: If your idea has merit and may incur additional expenses, it will be tagged as a Big Ticket item. We will collect more information about the scope and scale of information.

If you have any questions, you can contact the Values Team at valueteam@oswegolandpd.org. 

+10
Under review

District Dog Days

Kelse Gengler 11 months ago in Employee Experience updated by Cori Veverka 9 months ago 4

When I was in college they would bring in therapy dogs during stressful times of the year (finals, midterms, etc). I was thinking we could do a similar thing and bring in some therapy dogs during various times during the year.

It could be a short thing or have a time frame where staff could drop in to play with some dogs for a little bit.

Not sure if we could have it in one of our buildings or if it would have to be outside.

+8
Under review

Picnics in the Park

Christine 5 months ago in Employee Experience updated by Professor of Innovation 5 months ago 2

I think we should do a picnic lunch in our parks during the warmer months. Maybe once a month or every other week to get people out, mingle and enjoy our wonderful facilities. Everyone brings their own lunch so there's no cost to OPD.

+8
Completed

Projector and computer access at primary meeting locations

Brian Everhart 8 months ago in Employee Experience updated by Professor of Innovation 4 months ago 4

Many of the districts leadership teams, committees, and departments meet at the same few locations throughout the district.  It would be nice to have quick easy access to projectors and computers to help share information digitally at these meetings instead of paper.  While we do have a projector and laptop that can be checked out, it can be cumbersome to haul this around, set it up and the laptop itself can be hard to get connected to the network.  Also a large screen or blank area to project this on to.

Having a dedicated projector and computer or connection point at these main meetings hubs could be more efficient and effective and also help in cases of community meetings and training with staff, etc.

The South Point Conference, Prairie Point loft, Planning & Development office, Civic Center Room 1 as well as one of the rooms at Boulder Point.

Along with moving us along technology wise this would also help environmentally with paper waste and could improve efficiency.

Answer

They are here! We have two new sets of laptops and projectors. Thanks to the IT Department for getting these up and rolling this year. Here are a few notes from Keith:

  • It was impossible to find a bag that would fit everything, therefore we purchased a case for each projector and a case for each laptop. This will allow for some flexibility moving forward. (i.e. if you only need the projector you won’t have to lug the laptop with it and vice versa). However, if you need both remember to grab both cases.
  • Sign out of the laptop/projector will be the same as it has been in the past. Please fill out the sheet accordingly when you take a piece of equipment and return the piece of equipment.
  • Both setups currently reside at Prairie Point but eventually we will probably move one over to Civic Center so that we have a setup near to Civic Center, Boulder Point and Winrock. While keeping the other near Prairie Point, South Point and Fox Bend. Little White has its own setup that they use.

+7
Under review

Colored Printers?

Rockie Veverka 5 months ago in Employee Experience updated by Jen McFall 5 months ago 7

It would be awesome if supervisors were able to print in color at the facility they work in. There are times throughout the season I have to ask people at Prairie Point to print things for me that I need for recital, like room signs with costume images, or highlighted names on my "quick change" list. It would also be really convenient for marketing to be able to send us flyers and for supervisors to be able to print the flyers right at our facility instead of having to have them send it to us through interoffice mail. 

+7
Under review

New building access control system at all locations - FOBs or keycards for entry

Brian Everhart 8 months ago in Employee Experience updated by Mary Drew 6 months ago 2

With Boulder Point set to have renovations it could be a great time to transition from our current system of keys and passcodes at our various locations to a universal key card or FOB entry system for all staff.  Boulder Point could be done first with a phased implementation for other facilities year by year to help with budget/cost concerns.

The same system could be implemented at all locations so employees would have one card/FOB to access all facilities or rooms they need access to do perform their job functions.  In the case of termination or change of duties, it would be easier for supervisors, system administrator to either deactivate or change access on a staff members card.

Eliminate the need for large rings of keys for some employees as well as access codes, duplicated keys, etc.

I believe the school district already uses something like this for their facilities.

+6
Completed

planning and brainstorming meetings

Jen McFall 10 months ago in Employee Experience updated by Professor of Innovation 4 months ago 5

I believe having our brainstorming meetings a year in advance would be more productive than a week or 2 before catalog entries are due. For example, we meet this November to discuss how our fall classes are going, what we would change and any ideas for collaborations for next year. I feel talking about the season we are currently in will give us more insight when planning for next year. We always come up with great ideas in these meetings but I don't feel we fully devote the time and energy to produce those great classes due to such limited planning time.

+6
Under review

Electronic Sign In Sheets for Staff Meetings

Rich Zielke 11 months ago in Employee Experience updated by Professor of Innovation 10 months ago 2

Attending the catalog meeting we signed in on paper, got me thinking about an electronic solution.

Just one of many that came up during a quick search - https://signinsheets.org/

+6
Completed

Online store for staff apparel & accessories

Abbie 1 year ago in Employee Experience updated by Professor of Innovation 9 months ago 8

Work with Next Generation to create an online store for staff to order branded apparel, accessories, etc. Departments currently do this individually, and some departments not at all. A district wide approach and opportunity to everyone would be beneficial. Not mandatory or "uniforms" but an opportunity for staff to purchase Oswegoland logo-ed apparel.

+5
Under review

The Power of No

Rich Zielke 5 months ago in Employee Experience updated by Brian Everhart 5 months ago 5

I was listening to a podcast the other day that featured Chris Voss, an American businessman, author, and professor. Voss is a former FBI hostage negotiator, the CEO of The Black Swan Group Ltd, and co-author of the book, Never Split the Difference.

It was really interesting to hear him talk about the art of negotiating. Especially, when he discussed The Power of No.

https://blog.blackswanltd.com/the-edge/3-ways-to-make-no-work-for-you

I invite you to do a quick Google search on Chris Voss and see all the insightful articles that are out there on improving your negotiating skills. No matter what our job is, we are always selling...something.

+5
Completed

Putting a name to a face

Mary Drew 1 year ago in Employee Experience updated by Professor of Innovation 11 months ago 8

For our internal email you can add your picture to your profile. This would be nice for those staff you never see to put a name to a face. 

+4

IT Tip of the Month

Rockie Veverka 4 months ago in Employee Experience 0

I was just showing Kristen that you can check your "on hold" messages by clicking the mimecast button in your email. Afterwards her and I agreed that it would be cool if IT sent an email each month with different tips and tricks with our phones, computers, email, etc. :) 

+4
Completed

Staff Lunch Bunch (gymnastics)

btingley 8 months ago in Employee Experience updated by Cori Veverka 6 months ago 3

Feeling unproductive? Need to move around? Join us in the gym on select days during your lunch break and flip around!

Answer

Hey Brie,

Thanks for the great idea and based on the e-mail flyer, we look forward to coming to play in the gym soon.  Should be a great opportunity for staff to have some fun and be active.

Be on the look out for an ATOM coming your way.

Keep the great ideas coming.

+4
Planned

all staff lunch at Boulder Point

Karla Lundy 8 months ago in Employee Experience updated by Professor of Innovation 7 months ago 2

Some staff are not always able to leave and attend luncheons as they need to prepare to teach afternoon classes or may not have coverage.  Boulder Point had an idea of a salad, sandwich and dessert luncheon in the spring.  A new location for staff that may not have been here to enjoy our company.  We'd love to host a staff luncheon!   "Salad and Sandwich Spring Luncheon" in April or March.  Perhaps on the first day of spring.  

+3
Completed

Leap into the Innovation Lab

Cori Veverka 5 months ago in Employee Experience updated by Professor of Innovation 4 months ago 1

We have an extra day this month, so we want to everyone to be extra active on the Innovation Lab.

To encourage activity on our online portal for idea sharing, we will be offering prizes to the most engaged participants. Throughout the month of February, each new submission you share will be worth 5 points and each comment on an existing thread will earn you 1 point. The staff members with the 3 highest scores will get some Oswegoland Park District swag.


We love seeing all of the great ideas on the Lab, and can’t wait to see what we can brew up in February!

Answer

Thank you all for your contributions in February! We saw 10 new submissions this month and lots of comments and communication. Our Top 3 scores went to Rockie Veverka, Zack Donati, and Rich Zielke AND Donna Para (who tied). Some fun OPD swag is headed your way.

+3
Completed

Innovation Alarm

KristieBV 7 months ago in Employee Experience updated by Professor of Innovation 5 months ago 4

The innovation lab is becoming a very effective method for new ideas and collaboration. It seems like people come to the lab when they have a great idea. To increase the traffic of people engaging in those ideas, I'd love to have a week where we set Innovation alarms - emails that would come to folks at the same time every day for a week and remind them to check out the innovation lab. Or maybe just a monthly ATOM Alert to visit the lab and see what is currently bubbling. I sometimes get buried in my Things to Do list and forget to stretch my innovation muscle.