Innovation Nation

22 Mar 2008 by Karl Hallam

The Government's new innovation paper has some interesting public service innovation elements. A new Whitehall Innovation Hub catches the eye in particular, as does the Audit Office plan to look at how risk is addressed in relation to innovation.

Fans of Yes Minister will have a field day with such a paper (extending the 'power to innovate') and there is always the fear that when governments start writing strategy creativity and innovation are at great risk. A recent round table suggested that Grade 7 civil servants need targeting as it as that level that ideas stall, a course called Grade 007 - 'a license to innovate' would work?

We eagerly await progress on the following initiatives:

In order to assist policy makers in understanding the acceptable levels of risk in pursuing innovative policies, the NAO will conduct a study that will explore the role of risk in stimulating or stifl ing innovation in the public sector.
• The Sunningdale Institute will work with partners to create a Whitehall Innovation Hub, a new partnership of organisations to capture and disseminate learning about public sector innovation.
• NESTA will establish a Public Services Innovation Laboratory. Working as appropriate with partners such as the Young Foundation, The Innovation Unit, IDeA, Design Council and Innovation Exchange, the Laboratory will trial new methods for uncovering, stimulating, incubating and evaluating the most radical and compelling innovations in public services.
• DIUS will convene a Network of Whitehall Innovators to demonstrate commitment at a senior level of Government.
• The Design Council will develop and trial an innovation-enabling programme of designing demand for practitioners in the public sector, along the lines of the existing private sector model.
• DIUS will consider, with the Cabinet office, the value of an extended "power to innovate", enabling front line staff to explore new ways of delivering high quality services.

your comments

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