Nick Kittle in 2013

Photo courtesy of Jana Bussanich. Edited by Nick Kittle

Nick’s most endearing quality is his high energy and limitless optimism, the kind that energizes and empowers everyone around him.
— Rick Myers, Chief of Police
Nick is one of the most outstanding, driven, brilliant, and caring individuals I have ever had the pleasure to work alongside. He is innovative and focused on helping others succeed! Nick truly defines what it means to be a servant leader.
— Leisha Harrison, Marketing Manager at Kiewit Power Engineers
Nick expects the best from his team and he gets it! He asks big questions and inspires his team to function as problem solvers. He relates to his staff as partners in delivering public services, and works to remove the obstacles that keep them from doing their best.
— Dick Anderwald, Planning Director City of Colorado Springs
On multiple occasions, Nick and I have collaborated on team projects associated with innovative ideas to help City Government be more effective. Nick has the tenacity to treat his work like his own business.
— Darrell Gallo, HR Business Partner at Jeppessen
Nick is creative, forward-thinking, and organized. He has an uncanny ability to quickly assess a problem, formulate solutions, and get those solutions implemented. He does so with humor, professionalism, and a sensitivity to the politics of the situation. He also recognizes others’ strengths and weaknesses - and has that rare quality of working well with others.
— Jane Ard-Smith, Legal Editor at Lexis-Nexis
Nick makes things happen. He is smart and willing to take calculated risks, a superb combination especially when limited funding is the core issue.
— Al Brody, Chairperson Pikes Peak Area Bike Coalition
Nick is talented in all aspects of strategy development and facilitation. He is a true leader, mentor and a genuine inspiration.
— Bill Shiloh, Director, City of Austin, TX

I AM...

a Chief Innovation Officer for government. But that is just a title. Really, I am a Renaissance man who dabbles in the arts and the world around me. I make it my job to help great people do great things.  I am a partner and resource for a brighter future and I support "Sustainovation"--sustainable innovations and innovations that are sustainable. My motto is live the life you love and love the life you live.

In my professional career, I am an innovator, leader, facilitator, public speaker and trainer, experienced in working with large groups in a variety of settings to maximize the fun, effectiveness, capacity and abilities of a team of diverse professionals. I use performance measures to drive organizational behavior and am gifted in change management to speed organizational adoption of innovation. I use a balance of humor and strategy to create effective solutions. I am skilled in leading diverse teams to create effective unique solutions for "unsolvable problems."

I believe in using your strengths to minimize your weaknesses and build effective teams at any level in an organization. My top 5 Clifton Strengthsfinder strengths are Strategic, Ideation, Futuristic, Command and Competition. I have leveraged these strengths to create forward-leaning programs and first-of-their-kind ideas that have been adopted nationally by Fortune 100 companies and governments across the nation.

Disc golfing in Colorado

But that's just what I do to pay the bills. Who am I? I believe the world should be a beautiful place. I'm an artist. I play disc golf. In 2014 I watched 300 sunrises and sunsets. I believe saying the phrase "looking at this from 30,000 feet" makes you sound too stupid to listen to-and I'm not afraid to speak my mind. I make insanely good barbecue. I am full of useless knowledge and worthwhile facts.  I had the entire first-generation of Garbage Pail Kids. I "snigletize" my life by make up words regularly, speak with cadence, and (occasionally) write in poetic nonsense. I am a tree planter, not a tree hugger. I have worked as a government cog.  I have been a corporate ladder climber.  I am a serial entrepreneur. I have been an insolent fool.  And I believe in the power of Team US.  What do you believe in?  

Big Business and Viral Ideas

I started my career in 1999 working for Fortune 100 companies such as British Petroleum, El Paso Natural Gas, and consulting firms such as PricewaterhouseCoopers.  I transformed project delivery in each of these companies, including identifying over $90 Million in imbalances and improving application adoption rates by over 150% in less than 4 months.

In 2003, I quit my job in the oil and gas industry to start my own company, EasySubmittals.  I co-founded and patented the EasySubmittals service, a first-of-its-kind online construction solution, which replaced the paper-intensive construction submittal process with a faster, more effective, and more environmentally-friendly electronic one, saving thousands of hours of transport, reducing turnaround times and improving transparency. The EasySubmittals process is now used in several construction project management software suites.

Stopping Bureaucracide

After selling EasySubmittals, I began working for the City of Colorado Springs, and moved quickly to become a well-respected executive in the organization. I succeeded by stopping "bureaucracide", finding a way to get to yes, and building coalitions of great leaders to serve the larger community.  I served as a senior manager in the Fleet organization, as a special project manager for the City Manager during the start of the Great Recession, and successfully directed and managed the reformation of Public Works during the transition from a council-manager form of government to a strong mayor form of government.  I founded the City's first Office of Innovation and Sustainability from the ground floor, and created the concept of "innovation value" as a way to measure program successes.  In 12 months, the office was the first self-funded innovation office in the country.  I worked with other nationally-recognized innovation leaders to raise the profile of this burgeoning field, including those in Boston, Philadelphia, New York, San Francisco, Lexington, and New Jersey. I helped Austin, San Jose, Lakewood and Kansas City start their civic innovation efforts through guided facilitation and program development. I have been a hired speaker on innovation techniques and developing a culture of innovation for the Alliance for Innovation, American Public Works Association, Center for Non-Profit Excellence, Colorado Sustainability Conference, and US Olympics. I am currently the Chief Innovation Officer for Adams County and oversee the innovation, sustainability, performance, continuous improvement, training and development and applied GIS services for the county. In my spare time, I travel throughout the country to speak on leadership, innovation and sustainability--"Sustainovation". And yes, I keep it fun--while creating results.