Innovation Theory

A lot of what we discuss on this blog is about the introduction of new things - innovation as the addition of something new. But innovation can also be about stopping something. Or it can be about getting rid of something that exists to make room for a new innovation. The whole point of innovation is to do something better, and this implies that previous practices will eventually be replaced by subsequent innovations. If innovations do not result in some activities being stopped, then...
(Professor Sandford Borins is one of the leading thinkers in public sector innovation globally, and was a keynote speaker at the first APS Innovation Week in 2012. Professor Borins’ latest publication in the public sector innovation area is The Persistence of Innovation in Government which will be published on June 2 – though you can read the monograph The Persistence of Innovation in Government: A Guide for Innovative Public Servants now. We asked Professor Borins if he could update us on his...
The recent Innovation Week events gave me a chance to meet a lot of people and hear almost as many view points about innovation. Some of the conversations made me wonder, do we sometimes put innovation in a special box?For instance, what do the following statements relate to? ‘It’s about the culture of an organisation’ ‘It’s everyone’s job’ ‘It’s about leadership’ ‘I’m not given enough time to do it’ ‘It’s no good trying to do that at my organisation’ ‘I’m a policy officer, it’s not seen as...
For our finale for Innovation Month 2014 we’d like to announce the addition of some new guidance material about horizon scanning to the resources available on the Public Sector Innovation Toolkit.‘A practical guide: introduction to horizon scanning in the public sector’ [PDF 1.5 MB, Word 1.1 MB][1. This material was produced for us by Kate Delaney, through John Robinson Consulting Services Pty Ltd.] gives an in-depth introduction to the technique of horizon scanning and why and how it should be...
My name is Yanfei Shi and I work at the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research alongside the area that supports the public sector innovation work behind this blog.Our Department has launched a project to address the need for data and measurement on public sector innovation in Australia.The Australian Public Sector Innovation Indicators (APSII) project aims to design and conduct an Australian Public Sector Innovation Survey to collect data on innovation in the public sector, in...
This is the fourth in a series of posts about the Coursera course ‘Design: Creation of Artifacts in Society’.So, despite best intentions, my aim of recounting each of the weeks of the Coursera design course separately has fallen afoul of other priorities. However, for those of you who are interested, here is a quick recap of the major things that were covered in weeks 4, 5, 6 and 7 of the course!Week 4 In week 4 Professor Ulrich introduced us to concept selection - how to best pick between our ...
We’ve previously asked you about what the innovation toolkit should look like. Now we’d like some help with another toolkit question. For each of the tools identified in Empowering Change: Fostering Innovation in the Australian Public Service we are developing a ‘module’ to try and provide you with information about how the tools can be used.The aim of these modules is to provide public servants with the information they need to know -  what each of the tools are for, how they can be used,...
In an era of exponential technological change, and in a world where governments are seeking to reduce costs but citizen demands are changing and growing, how are we to solve entrenched problems?At a breakfast event in Canberra on Tuesday 25 February, Bill Eggers of Deloitte spoke about building the ‘solution economy’ as a means for governments to deal with a confluence of events and trends: Many governments around the world are looking at reducing costs Citizen demands are changing and...
Is the ability to tell stories, to use narrative to communicate rather than just evidence, given enough attention in the public service? Do we rely too much on dry data to make the case for change?On Wednesday 6 June Professor Sandford Borins from the University of Toronto tackled these questions when he gave a public lecture entitled 'Old and new stories: narrative and innovation in public management'.A narrative in fiction, a recounting of a set of events that provide a rationale and...
The public service is operating in an environment of constant change. How do we manage this, and what are the different models available for how the public sector might operate differently?On the afternoon of Thursday 10 July, Professor John Halligan gave a presentation as part of Innovation Month 2014 on ‘Change governance and alternative models for the public sector’.The below is an attempt to capture some of the Professor’s points. Professor Halligan noted that there were common issues in...