The Office of the Third Sector (OTS) are still to announce their preferred partner for the delivery of the Innovation Exchange. But unfortunately it's not going to be us . .
John Craig has indicated to me that they were looking for a partner that already knew what needed to be done and had specific actions to make it happen. It could be argued that this reflects more traditional thinking ie "we know how innovation works, this is what needs to be done and this is how we are going to do it."
I also think that they had problems with our approach to the web presence for the Innovation Exchange and would have preferred more complete designs to be presented. This was exactly what Ben Whitnall of Delib thought would happen. In the video after the interview he said “We weren’t about trying to build a proprietary, monolithic new system to bring everyone to us, we just wanted to leverage what was out there already. Unfortunately, I don’t think that makes for a very sexy pitch . . .”
Obviously, I am really disappointed with this decision but have to say that I am not surprised. There was a ‘lack of chemistry’ during our interview. Jane Berry said afterwards “I don’t think they want innovation [in the delivery of the Innovation Exchange], they just want somewhere to put it”.
At the end of the day we didn't want to do what they wanted and the customer is always right!
Personally, I'll stick by our belief that the network approach is the right one and with Web 2.0, we have the tools to do it properly for the first time.
Anyway, we wish the winning consortium the very best in the delivery of the IE and will help in anyway we can to make it a success. And in any case, we will be keeping an eye on progress. I understand there will be an announcement at the end of the week.
Thanks to everyone who contributed to the Open Innovation Exchange. I am very proud to have been part of the team that made it happen. I'd also like to thank John Craig who has been very positive about the process we used.
John Craig's email follows:
From: <John.Craig> Monday, June 18, 2007 15:07:19
Subject: Innovation Exchange - response to your bid
To: Simon Berry
I am writing to say that we will not be awarding you the contract to run the Innovation Exchange. I am very sorry to disappoint you in this way, particularly given the trouble you and your many colleagues have gone to in putting together such a high quality and imaginative bid. All members of the panel were extremely impressed by the quality of all of the 21 bids we received, and particularly by the four groups of people we met at interview.
On behalf of the Office of the Third Sector, I want to thank you for taking the time to bid and for putting so much thought and creativity into your tender. We were genuinely impressed by the open approach you took to putting the bid together, by the expertise of the broad coalition you were able to build and the enthusiasm you showed for this work. I have been fascinated to see how your open source approach to this tender has developed – I have certainly learnt a great deal from your contribution to this process and I believe that the Office of the Third Sector has too. I hope that you will stay in touch with the progress of the Innovation Exchange and with the broader development of OTS’s work on innovation.
Allow me also to thank you, David and the rest of the team for the charm and generosity with which you have conducted yourselves during this process. It’s been a pleasure to get to know you better.
Head of Innovation
Office of the Third Sector | Cabinet Office2nd Floor, 35 Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3BQ
Cabinet Office switchboard: 020 7276 1234