Nominated for: Peak Academy Awards, Best Team Innovation Category

Agency: Denver Public Library (DPL)

Team: Jennifer Lay, Katrina Bishop, Gwyn Davis, Kit Cusker, Martha Garbison, Hien Nguyen, Jennifer Hoffman, Becky Russell, Annie Kemmerling

Why Change Was Needed/Problem: The current process for supplemental staffing was incomplete in terms of hiring, expectations during on-call employment, and parting from the various positions.  The process effects different departments and their roles in the process from public service, human resources, and the supplemental staffing coordinator.

Process for Change: During the week of May 21st, 2018 Peak Academy hosted 13 DPL staff members representing departments from across the library who are part of the Supplemental Staffing Process. The team learned the tools to help them identify their gaps and develop solutions to their problems.

group photo

They brought it all together during a workshop at DPL. They created a process map, identified their gaps, prioritized their brainstormed solutions and developed an action plan.


Results: The team now has a formalized process for supplemental staffing. Freeing up time for the Supplemental Staffing Coordinator to focus on filling on-call spots!

Q&A with Annie Kemmerling – Manager of Innovation and Strategy, Denver Public Library

What about your innovation are you most proud of? I am most proud of the staff that were involved and their willingness to come together from various departments and job functions and really sort through the different challenges and opportunities that were part of this process. In addition, the level of execution around this innovation by the team. Folks were asked to complete parts of the process and they did.

What is the biggest lesson you learned for future innovations? The importance of timing. We knew there were things that needed to be addressed about the process and the timing hadn’t been quite right in the past to evolve, but we had it on our radar. So the timing of change in the tools we were using and the way the work was being processed by our various departments. In addition, the group having a great understanding of the tools as they had gone through Black Belt training together – the mutual understanding was important.

What advice do you have for other innovators or people seeking to innovate? Patience. Again, back to the timing piece, sometimes pieces need to fall in to place. In addition, dream big and have conversations about those dreams. One brainstormed solution we shared had been turned down in the past and as a result of coming together, dreaming big, we were recently able implement the solution that is a game changer for our process.

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