Successful innovations can be nominated for various awards, such as the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Sector Management, those of the Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management and the United Nations, and the agency’s own awards for staff. Awards not only provide recognition for innovation, but also information that can inform future innovators.

The criteria for any internal awards for innovation could consider situations where an innovation process has not gone to plan, but where valuable lessons were learnt and captured as a basis for future efforts.

Some agencies may wish to be as brave as recognising ‘honourable failures’—examples where a project has not succeeded but where its innovative potential meant it deserved to be tried and where significant lessons have been learnt that will allow the agency to avoid similar future failure.

Where an innovation is recognised with an award, it should be written up into a case study to codify lessons and insights and to help communicate the context to assist in possible adoption in another area.