I have been focusing on the public sector innovation opportunities for the last two years. At the start, most people (including me doubting my own intuition) felt trying to foster entrepreneurship and innovation in a slow moving, hierarchical, process driven, public sector organizations would be an utter waste of time.
However, I’m grateful to all the people who have given me an amazing amount of support and encouragement to pursue this “road less travelled”. A special thanks must go to Deryk Whyte from NZTA (NZ Transport Agency), who had the vision and courage to become my first client, without his support, I would have struggled to get this idea off the ground.
Government agencies around the world spend most of the operating budgets to maintain status quo. I’m urging chief executive’s in government to allocate a small percentage of funds, even as tiny as 1% from their operating budget to foster a culture of innovation.
Most of the ideas fail not because we don’t have enough money, but we fail to attract the right talent. It is extremely important to get a balanced team to drive your innovation initiatives, which must be made up by internal and external players. While there is a truckload of published material on this topic, a great starting point is two books from Tom Kelly, “The Art of Innovation” and “The Ten Faces of Innovation”.
The other key ingredient required by people in public sector is to develop a “Servant Leadership” culture. Without this, you will never be able to create the kind of service innovation that is required to meet the high level of “service experience” expected by today’s discerning citizens.
The following video clip is a great example of service design & innovation. I urge you to pass on this link to every person you know that is holding a leadership role in a public sector organization.