Innovation in the Public Sector

Innovation in the Public Sector

"Innovation is the endurance of uncertainty "  Knight, 1921

"Innovation is the ability to seize opportunities ..... be creative"  Kirzner, 1995

Administrative science interprets innovation as a continuous process of discovery and application. It distinguishes innovation in product / service innovation (i.e. what we do in the provision of the final product / service), in process innovation (i.e. how we do it by improving internal functions) and in business model innovation (i.e. how we provide added value).  

 

In addition, it distinguishes innovation according to its characteristics in:

Incremental RadicalSustainingDisruptive
a series of small improvementsa new discovery that provides a new way of operating (eg e-government)a discovery that improves existing products / servicesa sudden and shocking discovery that changes the rules

OECD stipulates that innovation in the public sector is a new or significantly modified process or approach that is innovative, has been implemented in some form and aims to achieve remarkable public benefit by achieving increased efficiency, efficiency and user satisfaction. (read more at this link)

Most recently, in 2018, the OECD Working Group on National Contact Points for Innovation in the Public Sector presented a model for classifying innovations in 4 facets.

The notion of innovation in the public sector has in the past been largely linked to the private sector and there has been a misguided attempt to evaluate it on the basis of profit.

Mission orientedEnhancement orientedAdapabtiveAnticipatory
How can we achieve X?How can X be made better? How can our evolving situation change the way we do X? How could the emerging possibilities actually change what could or should be X?

Based on the 4 facets model, a public organization could have a portfolio of innovative actions which reflects in its action plan, so that even if it fails in one action, the organization can achieve innovation in another.

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