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Innovation strategy? Here’s one we prepared earlier

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19 December 2019

Do you need an innovation strategy? Don’t reinvent the wheel, especially when the wheel was built by an international innovation body and it’s already approved.

We’ve all been there.

“Jennifer,” says the Senior Exec. “This work is great, I can really see how your project on [tricky problem X] was more effective because you used [innovation method Y]. You really addressed the needs of the citizen and even the use of [somewhat fancy tech Z] is astounding.

“What we need is some sort of high level document that can guide other teams in [agency A].

“What we need is an innovation strategy.”

You try to keep the smile on your face. You try to remember if you’ve ever actually ever read an innovation strategy, where you read it, what it even is.

We got you, Jennifer. Here’s one we prepared earlier (by ‘we’, we mean the OECD’s Observatory of Public Sector Innovation). It’s the OPSI Declaration on Public Sector Innovation.

Australia has already signed up to the Declaration. Best of all, the Declaration is a high level innovation strategy, worked on by world experts, endorsed by 40 countries, that:

  • provides common principles, actions, concepts and language
  • legitimises innovation
  • supports the expansion and improvement of innovation to address a variety of challenges and to leverage opportunities

5 innovation principles

At the highest level, the Declaration provides 5 principles and actions. These are a very good start if you want to encourage, manage, or inform innovation:

  1. Embrace and enhance innovation within the public sector.
  2. Encourage and equip all public sector servants to innovate.
  3. Cultivate new partnerships and involve different voices.
  4. Support exploration, iteration and testing.
  5. Diffuse lessons and share practices.

If you need the basis of an innovation strategy, chances are, the Declaration can give you what you need. You could also take a peek at some of the innovation strategies other departments have put together.

And if you want practical steps to put these things in place, stick around, we’re going to go through each principle and provide examples and advice in other posts.

Read more

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Email psi@industry.gov.au