Keynote | Room: 1151
Brian Elms, Innovation Practice Lead, Change and Innovation Agency

Imagine the possibilities …if government employees were empowered to seek new and innovative ways to provide better and quicker services to citizens and businesses, and all the while make their jobs better. While some may find this impossible – and in some cases even laughable – cities across the country are letting their imaginations run wild and finding that the possibilities that innovative thinking can offer in a government setting are truly endless and worth pursuing.

During this highly engaging and interactive keynote, attendees will hear first-hand from Brian Elms, author of Peak Performance and former director of the Denver Peak Academy – the largest, nationally recognized government innovation program in the country – how he and his team created a culture where government and innovation became synonymous. Under his leadership, employees were tasked with making changes to their own environments and delivering services faster to residents and businesses. As a result of this new-found focus on innovation, Denver reduced the time it takes to get business licenses, license plates, food stamps, and health inspections.

Cities and counties across the country continue to adopt the surprisingly simple, yet highly effective innovation model designed to foster innovative thinking and achieve results that matter most – all without additional money, technology, or people.

Brian Elms is the author of Peak Performance and is the former Director of Peak Academy and Analytics for the City and County of Denver. He specializes in government innovation and has more than 15 years of experience providing program management expertise to government agencies, elected officials, trade associations, and nonprofit organizations. Brian started his career in public service after graduating from Regis University and joining the National School and Community Corps (AmeriCorps) as a team leader. He also worked for the Rendell Administration in Pennsylvania as the Policy Director for the Department of Aging. After working in Washington, D.C., for AARP as a Legislative Specialist for health and long term care, Brian moved back to his hometown and served as the Assistant Director of Government Affairs at Denver International Airport.

Brian is a Lean Black Belt, a certified Six Sigma Green Belt, and a Change Management Professional. In his prior role as Director of the Peak Academy, he developed curriculum, training, and consulting services that focus on employee-led performance management and continuous improvement. Since its inception in 2012, Peak Academy initiatives have saved the City and County of Denver more than $30 million and the Academy has provided training to more than 7,000 public and nonprofit professionals.

Brian joined the Change & Innovation Agency to focus on creating employee-driven innovation programs around the country. He is currently working with multiple cities to launch programs and establish meaningful innovation programs that improve the lives of employees and their clients.