Weekly bits of interest - 5 July 2010

Some interesting articles from the past week.

  • Dr John Steen wrote a piece about the challenge of idea selection being a universal problem for the public sector. John also discusses the report Empowering Change: Fostering Innovation in the Australian Public Service.

  • In this article, John D. Donahue argues that in the US public sector, innovation has been associated with extreme pressure on agencies as opposed to situations where resource constraints have been relaxed.

  • Craig Thomler has developed a calendar for Gov 2.0 and social media events in Australia that may be of interest.

  • In this post, Naumi Haque looks at the design charrettes and their potential to assist complex projects. "A design charrette is a way to super-charge the planning phase of the project by collecting a group of cross-functional stakeholders together in a series of workshops to vet different design options." Naumi considers the potential of such an approach over traditional project planning. [1. The following source is not covered by the Creative Commons licence or Commonwealth Copyright. Naumi Haque "Design charrettes for platform projects" 29 June 2010 http://www.wikinomics.com/blog/index.php/2010/06/29/design-charrettes-for-platform-projects/]

  • Geoff Mulgan of the Young Foundation has written a blog post for our counterparts in the UK Government's Department for Business Innovation and Skills looking at public sector innovation in Britain.

  • Geoff has also co-authored with Jitinder Kohli of the Center for American progress two reports looking at public sector innovation - Capital Ideas: How to Generate Innovation in the Public Sector and Scaling New Heights: How to Spot Small Successes in the Public Sector and Make them Big.

  • And to finish with, a quote I came across in a book by William Eggers and John O'Cleary "Anybody looking for easy answers or surefire success should set up a lemonade stand, because government isn't a game of perfect". [2. This quote is not covered by the Creative Commons licence or Commonwealth Copyright. From William Eggers and John O'Cleary 2009, p.163, If We Can Put a man on the Moon: Getting Big Things Done in Government , Harvard Business Press, Boston]

Please feel free to note any other interesting public sector innovation related developments or articles from the past week in the comments.