DIY innovation

30 Jan 2008 by Karl Hallam

Ben Rogers of ippr says we need to know more about examples of innovation. He mentions Kent County Council and the Design Council, which will feature in work Cadence Works are just starting for the National School of Government.

His Guardian Public Eye piece says that "a simple DIY manual, 'New Innovative Processes', would do more to encourage a deliberate approach to innovation in local services than another year of ambitious studies or goverment -funded innovation networks".

The fact that someone coming from a think tank, ippr, is saying this is significant. The piece has a cartoon which shows two men stranded on a desert island, holding a note each; one says 'how to build a canoe' and the other 'Demos essays'. The former says "Personally I prefer a more practical approach"...

Cadence suggest that a focus on process is probably right, but that there probably needs to be a change of mindset in Whitehall if public services are going to be allowed to employ innovative processes to deliver centrally set outcome targets. This is not just about risk-averse civil servants, but how they work with Ministers keen to see results from 10 years of increased public expenditure.

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