Strategic Innovation

Summary of Services

Strategic innovation supports cross-departmental initiatives such as the City’s five-year strategic plan, policy analyses, and process improvement projects. Strategic Innovation strives to improve overall organizational performance through consultation on management best practices.


The division has a budget of $828,827 and FTEs numbering 5, which is included in the City Manager’s budget. There are no significant changes expected in the FY22 budget.

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3-A-5: Grow employee participation in professional development programs by 10 percent by 2024.  

Having an informed and educated workforce benefits both the employee and the organization as a whole, enhancing the level of services provided to local residents. Professional development programs can offer employees opportunities for advancement within the organization and an increased sense of satisfaction. As professional development programs can directly impact employee satisfaction, retention, and recruitment, the City is committed to growing employee participation in these programs by 10% by 2024.  

Two of the key professional development programs offered by the City are the New Public Servant Initiative (NPSI), and the Certified Public Manager (CPM) programs. NPSI and CPM are comprehensive training programs on leadership and management. Approximately 40% of NPSI program graduates have ascended into higher positions and earned higher wages relative to employees who did not participate in the programs. The CPM program is a nationally recognized certification offered in a partnership between the City and the Florida Center for Public Management at Florida State University. Additionally, employees who participate in these programs have a higher retention rate.  In FY20, there were 24 NPSI and 39 CPM participants.

The City will elevate the profile of its existing programs to grow employee participation and expand course offerings to meet the changing needs of staff. Exposure to professional development programs provides new opportunities for participants and builds the skills and education needed to create a larger pool of professionally trained employees from which to incorporate and progress into the workforce.   

3-A-i-2: Have a City workforce that is reflective of community’s demographics 

In 2019, the City established the Diversity and Inclusion Office (D&I) to ensure the City’s workforce is reflective of the community’s demographics by leading the development and implementation of the City’s diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. This includes developing strategies for diverse outreach to assist with recruiting, retaining, and promoting the best and most diverse talent.  

Since its formation, D&I has developed and implemented several programs and events to further the City’s diversity and inclusion initiatives. From October 2019 to February 2020, Staff worked directly with City leadership to identify areas of opportunity. The office has also developed relationships with local organizations such as Agency for Persons with Disabilities and Leon County Schools. D&I also continues to plan community events, such as the Leader in You event for high school girls, to showcase women in traditionally male-driven areas of the City workforce e.g. engineers, firefighters, police officers, and forepersons. 

In addition to ensuring the organization invests in employee excellence, promotes equity, and celebrates diversity, the City is focused on engaging the greater community to celebrate and foster important conversations about diversity. Over the coming year, staff is taking the lead on several large events driving community discussion of diversity and inclusion. These events will include the Diversity and Inclusion Summit; the City’s first-ever Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade; Martin Luther King, Jr. Festival, Celebration, Day of Dialogue; and others. By organizing these events, the City will showcase itself as a leader in the pursuit of greater inclusion and diversity, both as an organization and a local government entity. 

6-B-1: Implement digital townhall at City Commission meetings by 2021

The City of Tallahassee consistently seeks to enhance citizens’ understanding of local government operations and access to public meetings by utilizing its technological capabilities. The multiple channels of open digital participation, allow the City to connect with residents who may otherwise face difficulties coordinating schedules, transportation, or availability. Furthermore, by expanding the scope of residents’ access to their City government, we can ensure the health and safety of staff and residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the past year, the City increased its digital engagement capacity by acquiring new solutions that facilitate the sharing of information. In April 2020, the City held its first fully digital City Commission meeting and continues to use this approach for planning charettes and other public meetings. The City continues to live-stream City Commission Meetings, CRA Board Meetings, and other public meetings with both digital and in-person participation. Any member of the public who wishes to participate virtually can submit comments online or sign up to speak during the meeting at City Commission meetings are live-streamed on the City’s television channel WCOT (channel 13 for both Comcast and CenturyLink customers), and online at,, or TLH.

Moving forward, the City of Tallahassee is well-positioned to further expand residents’ access to data and engagement at events and public meetings. Over the next year, the City will continue to offer many ways to engage the Commission and organization, collect feedback, and improve internal processes as needed. Given the current challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the City will continue to adapt and adjust its approach to ensure every voice in our community has the opportunity to be heard.

6-B-i-2: Regularly inform the public of progress towards achieving the targets within the 2024 Strategic Plan.

The Strategic Plan places public trust as one of the seven key priorities of the City’s 5-year strategic plan. This strategic initiative is focused on providing residents open access to strategic performance data to ensure organizational accountability for the plan’s progress and underscores the City’s continued commitment to openness and transparency.

To regularly inform the public of the progress towards achieving the targets within the 2024 Strategic Plan, staff has developed an interactive digital platform dedicated to housing and visualizing all performance data associated with the plan. Metrics associated with all 7 priority areas are displayed to the public, and each target will display 5 years of historic data (2015-2019) to provide users reference and context, where available. Effective strategic planning requires a continuous cycle of planning, evaluation, and improvement [1]; this tool will facilitate ongoing evaluation and enable process improvements required to meet 2024 targets.

The City has been a leader in open government through reporting performance data through best-practice processes, including budget, electric , and public safety information. In 2020, the City was recognized by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) for its commitment to data-driven government management and reporting with a Certificate of Achievement in Performance Management. In addition, the City was named a Top 10 Digital City by the Center of Digital Government for incorporating innovative practices into its operations. Moving forward, staff will continue to refine data visualizations and upload progress updates. Progress on this strategic initiative will be reported to the City Commission biannually.