innovation In Government - Necessary In A Rapidly Changing World


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Government Innovation and Change No Longer Optional

The pace of change in demographics, technology, and the costs of government is so fast that government can no longer remain the same.

It must find new ways of doing things -- cost effective ways of dealing with the needs of its citizens, whether it's new ways of thinking, leveraging technology to cut costs, or streamlining and becoming leaner.

Innovation Not A Historical Quality of Government

Unfortunately, government does tend to work at a glacial pace. We simply don't associate innovation with government, so there's some need to streamline decision-making within government to "fast track" government innovation.

Yet, it IS happening. Things are changing, often in ways that citizens fail to see.

Our purpose here is to look at the barriers to innovation and change in government, and the ways governments are changing to become more innovative and creative. Here you'll find experts on the topic, plus case studies of innovative government programs.

All About Innovation In Government - What's Happening? What Should Be Happening?:

Finding and Spreading Good Ideas - Guides - by JOHN O'LEARY
Necessity is the mother of invention. Two new how-to guides for public innovators could prove very useful for public officials who need to find better, faster, cheaper ways of getting the job done. These two guides peek under the hood of public government to look at specific strategies to spur innovation. "Public sector culture often rewards people for turning the gears of bureaucracy rather than improving the overall machinery," write co-authors Geoff Mulgan and Jitinder Kohli in Capital Ideas: How to Generate Innovation in the Public Sector (PDF). Working under the auspices of the Center for American Progress and the Young Foundation, the authors take aim at the challenge of public innovation (Views So Far 279 )

Six Public Innovations Honored (2009) - by Stephen Goldsmith
Learn from the recognized leaders in government innovation and access case study information about the top government innovators for 2009. (Views So Far 257 )

Innovator's Playbook | Public Sector | Government | Deloitte Research | William Eggers - by Deloitte
Governments around the world can address many of society's biggest challenges such as the current economic crisis by becoming better at innovating. "The public innovator's playbook" report, published by Deloitte Research in the U.S. with the Harvard Kennedy School's Ash Institute for the Democratic Governance and Innovation, describes how governments have the opportunity to help improve the economic environment, create jobs, and more efficiently manage costs. (Views So Far 285 )

Increase Your Innovation's Chances for Success - by Bill Brantley
Two books that I read recently have given me a few insights into making innovation work. As you well know, innovation is the hot topic in government today as we face shrinking budgets, demands for better citizen engagement, and the challenge of openness. There is a good deal of emphasis on producing innovative ideas but not as much as on determining what is a good idea to implement and specifically how to implement the innovative idea. (Views So Far 258 )

Strategy and Leadership for Innovation: Making it Real, Urgent, and Attainable - by Ken Boxer
Creating a reliable capability for innovation requires that a number of factors be addressed and aligned. This article addresses strategy and leadership, but equally important are culture, process, roles, skills, etc. Our prior article lays out an eight-element framework outlining each of these key factors. You can assess your organization's innovation capability across these dimensions, and receive a customizable report comparing your responses to others by going to the page. (Views So Far 342 )

Innovation's Hurdles - Municipal Government Challenges - by BABAK ARMAJANI
Ever wonder why innovation in government is difficult? In this article, a number of barriers to innovation and change are discussed, some of them generic, some specific to government. (Views So Far 270 )

Bizzaro Budgeting and Public Sector Innovation - by Abhi Nemani
You've got to love the title, but the content is also good -- the premise being that the budgeting process in government is hugely stiffling to innovation. Having worked in government, I agree. But it's probably not going to change. (Views So Far 255 )

Boston's Pioneering Way of Innovating - by Stephen Goldsmith
Find out how the City of Boston is innovating by using technology, and trying to make its government more available to its citizens. (Views So Far 264 )

Innovation Amidst Crisis - Yes, Government Does Innovate But It's A Challenge - by Stephen Goldsmith
Contrary to stereotypes, governments innovate. Public officials, and the non-profit and for-profit partners they work with, are continuously developing creative approaches to solving difficult challenges. But there is a problem. Too often, the best innovations don't spread. The marketplace for sharing new ideas, products and services through government simply doesn't work as well as it could. (Views So Far 239 )

Why Innovation Labs Are Vital to Government Agencies - by Bill Brantley
To avoid being netflixed, businesses and agencies need innovation labs to create and test new business models. Nothing new here but Kaplan has an important twist on just setting up innovation labs - adjacency. What this means is that the innovation lab should not be separate from the current business operations. Rather, the innovation lab should have a flow of people and ideas from the main business operations so that the lab can develop disruptive ideas which can be then tested and flowed back into the main operations. Kaplan cautions against mere tweaking of existing business models but it is vital that the main operations continue while new business models are ready to be implemented once the current business model has ran its course. Sounds reasonable and Kaplan has plenty of examples to demonstrate the necessity for innovation labs. So, why do many of these initiatives fail? As I read the ten reasons why companies fail at business model innovation, I recognized the death grip that legacy systems have on many government agencies (Views So Far 237 )

Job Losses and the Effect on Innovation - (Canada) - by Scott McNaughton
As the Canadian Public Service navigates through the recent job cuts as part of the 2012 budget, I've written about different skills that will help any public servant through cutbacks including survival tips for those who survive the job losses and a call to truly think if the public service is the right career for you. Job losses are tough and sometimes in the struggle to get through the stages of grief associated with significant loss, we can lose track of our progress on the road to innovation and we can lose our desire to continually innovate. (Views So Far 206 )

Disruptive Innovators In Government - by JONATHAN WALTERS
Disruptive innovation" has a nice ring to it, and it's essentially what Stephen Goldsmith's new book, The Power of Social Innovation is about. The book tries to extract a wide variety of lessons about innovation and innovators by looking at a broad swath of disrupters who've taken on the social services and educational status quo from coast to coast. (Views So Far 266 )

Fostering an Innovation Culture - Five Principles To Follow - by Stephen Goldsmith
Government is not set up to innovate or for fast change, but it does happen. Here are some best practice principles to help create a government environment where critical innovation can occur, and so innovative thinking isn't crushed. (Views So Far 250 )

The Skills an Innovation Team Really Needs - by NEIL KLEIMAN
Innovation Delivery Teams are dedicated units within city governments designed to quickly and nimbly tackle multiple issues ranging from murder reduction to small-business growth. But how can one group of eight to 10 people attain subject-matter fluency, or even competency, on so many radically different issues--issues other civil servants have spent their careers mastering? (Views So Far 321 )

10 Ingredients Missing in Federal Government Innovation - by Steve Ressler
Innovation is the hot buzzword. From local government innovation officers to a deputy CTO in charge of innovation, governments are more and more focused on innovation. But how do you really make innovation happen in government? What are the missing ingredients? I thought I'd take a stab at an answer so here's my 10 ingredients missing in federal government innovation (Views So Far 240 )

'Best Practices': the Enemy of Innovation - by PATRICK IBARRA
What began in the 1990s as a trend evolved toward a movement that has become commonplace in government organizations: the adoption and implementation of so-called "best practices" as a method for improving organizational performance. The problem with best practices is that they often merely masquerade as innovation. In the wrong hands, they become a shield to deflect critics, as though one can expect to be granted management immunity by proclaiming the use of supposedly tried-and-proven solutions. (Views So Far 254 )

Federal agencies 'slipping' on innovation research suggests - by Jack Moore
Agencies are failing to become more innovative at a time when they can least afford it. Governmentwide scores tracking how agencies foster and reward employee innovation dropped in 2012 for the second year in a row, according to a new report from the Partnership for Public Service and Deloitte. "Government is slipping on innovation at a time when its ability to be creative is paramount, given the increasing needs for its services and the reduction in available resources," the report found. The report calls on federal managers to take steps to build and bolster a culture of innovation at their agencies. (Views So Far 242 )

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