Great Ideas Exchange
The Great Ideas Exchange was launched in September 2005, after Director Geigis traveled throughout the state to different facilities and discovered so many wonderful great ideas developed and implemented by DCR staff. DCR developed a program that would allow for the exchange of these ideas through facilitated working sessions. The day allows staff to share their creative ways of tackling everyday challenges by dividing participants into 90 minute working sessions of 8-20 people, in which they are asked to produce a work product. Work products can range from outlines, to next steps to feedback on a topic. The day focuses on innovations and inventions that have improved day to day life at a facility and also presents different topics designed to generate discussion and reach solutions. The exchange, which runs for the day, also has a team building component, where, after lunch, staff participates in wide range of activities including: an obstacle course; sights and sounds game; assembling picnic tables; disc golf; and geo-caching. The exchange wraps up with each group reporting out their ideas and thoughts on each discussion topic. The day also includes an Ebay board, where staff can exchange equipment or other items that they no longer need but someone else may find useful.
Over the past two years, the working sessions have included: improving incident reporting; enhancing visitor experiences; Annual Report template; training opportunities; partnerships; facility management profiles; Everyday Great Ideas; succession planning; dealing with invasive plants; dealing with difficult constituents; and comfort station prototypes.
The Great Ideas Exchange has become a popular annual event. In 2007, a Great Ideas Committee was created to solicit ideas from staff from many areas of the agency. Topic areas included: Everyday Great Ideas; Marketing DCR; Great Ideas from other Park Systems; DCR Park Passport; Great Park Pursuit; Trail System Markers.
Priscilla Geigis, Director, State Parks and Recreation; 617-626-4986 Priscilla.Geigis@state.ma.us