Innovation in Practice

As some of our readers already know, I’m soon heading off to new pastures for a while. Before I go, I thought it might be useful to reflect on some of the things I’ve learnt and observed since starting to work on public sector innovation in the Australian Public Service back in 2009.What has happened in 7 years?When I started working on the Management Advisory Committee project on public sector innovation in 2009, public sector innovation as a focus was pretty new. In many ways it...
Public sector innovation is something that public services across the world are looking at and there seem to be a lot of common issues. But are they really the same, or do local factors, local circumstances matter more?This March I was lucky enough to spend two weeks trying to find out.Last year we were fortunate enough to have the impressive Stephanie Wade, Director of the Innovation Lab at the Office of Personnel Management in Canberra for some meetings and a public talk. I’d actually first...
Do you work with someone in the APS who has done/is doing something clever, new and/or experimental? Have you thought about nominating them for the new IPAA Public Sector Innovation Awards?If so, there’s only two weeks left to nominate so we recommend you start now. Nominations can be self-nominated or nominated by peers. Any individual, work unit, group or team of a Commonwealth Government entity may nominate an initiative for the Awards.The nomination doesn’t have to be for the biggest thing...
Do you ever ask yourself – am I behaving in a way that will help others try new things, to propose new ideas?It’s easy to talk about innovation. It’s also (sometimes) easy to write about innovation. It’s sometimes easy to think that it’s other people that are holding innovation back. It’s also sometimes easy to think that if you just had the chance, if you just had the time or the space, that it would be easier to be innovative.But innovation is about people – whether it’s about getting support...
How many public servants does it take to change the way we work?We don’t know yet but over 65 people at our discovery kick-off was a mighty good start!Who am I?Hello everyone.My name is Nikki Smith. I’m a designer at the Department of Human Services – and I think you’ll be seeing a lot more of me around these parts. Why is that you ask? Well, I’m one of the designers working on the APS Design-Thinking Mentoring Programme (don’t worry, agenda item one is ‘come up with a simpler name’). At the...
Can government – can the public service – really be a leader in innovation?Two recent developments suggest we can be: First, under the National Innovation and Science Agenda there is an explicit pledge that government will be leading by example Second, we have published a ‘Snapshot’ of innovation (PDF 3.3MB, html) across the Australian Public Service (APS) which demonstrates how the APS is exploring, testing and trying new ways of doing things.National Innovation and Science Agenda – Government...
This is an html version of the inaugural APS (Australian Public Service) Innovation Snapshot Report. You can also access a PDF version, APS Innovation Snapshot 2015 (PDF 3.3MB), or have a look at the experimental 'Instagram version'. Foreword Making an Innovative Public Service Highlights of 2015 The APS Innovation Agenda APS Innovation Case Studies 2015 The International Context - What's happening elsewhere? Reflections from the Public Sector Innovation Team ConclusionForeword“This is a...
We’re seeking the help of our colleagues to test that we’re on the right track with the development of the new Innovation Awards for the Australian Public Service (APS).As we shared earlier in the year, we’re working with IPAA ACT to establish a set of innovation awards to recognise some of the novel things happening across the public service.The working group has made a lot of progress, and we’re getting quite excited about launching the awards next year.Before we do so though, we’d like to...
If we want to encourage innovation, then we need to encourage and support the behaviours that will lead to innovative thinking and doing.As part of the work supporting the Innovation Champions Group, we sought suggestions and advice about the behaviours that people who are doing new things need to demonstrate (or avoid). We also wanted to know what the behaviours were that were needed to be shown (or avoided) by leaders. In response we received a number of suggestions and some suggested writing...
What has been the experience of using design-led innovation in the US Government?On Tuesday we had the opportunity to hear from Stephanie Wade, Director of the Innovation Lab at the Office of Personnel Management.While in Canberra for a day, Stephanie met with a number of the Innovation Champions for breakfast to share her experiences, gave a public presentation kindly hosted by the Canberra Innovation Network, and met with the innovationXchange team. It was great to hear from Stephanie and I’d...