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Created by the Public Governance Directorate

This website was created by the OECD Observatory of Public Sector Innovation (OPSI), part of the OECD Public Governance Directorate (GOV).

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In the last post in our innovation facets series, we looked at the particulars of enhancement-oriented innovation. In this post, we examine in detail the mission-oriented innovation facet – what it is, what role it plays, how to support it, and the key considerations. This post is us at OPSI “showing our work”, as this is still very much thinking that is evolving. Your feedback will help us in distilling the key messages, to ensure...
In our first two pieces looking at the innovation facets, we have described how each facet has different characteristics, and how different types of change are associated with different types of innovation. In this post, we dive into the specifics of the enhancement-oriented innovation facet – what it is, what role it plays, how to support it, and the key considerations. This post is us at OPSI “showing our work”, as this is still very...
In our post on innovation facets we outlined how innovation is not just one thing, but that there are different types of innovation that should be considered and appreciated in the public sector. We identified that different facets should be supported in different ways, in accordance with what they are most suited for. But before we dive further into the characteristics and strategies appropriate for each facet, in this post we’re going to explore some...
In our first visit to Brasilia in May, members of the Observatory of Public Sector Innovation team were on a journey of discovery to uncover the innovation context for the Public Service of Brazil. In our recent second visit, we dove deeper to get a better sense of the key characteristics and developments, and to gain insight into what the dynamics of the public sector innovation system are. To assist us in this process, this...
Every now and again I see the claim that there’s too great a focus within innovation discussions on technology and tools, rather than on people and their needs. The argument runs that the specific technology is not what matters. Instead, attention should be paid to what is needed, and then technology options assessed by what they are able to deliver against those needs. The fear is that if the focus is on the technology then...
If you have a good idea, does being polite help or hinder you when you try to introduce it? Or to put it another way, if you have an innovative proposal that you want to pursue, do you need to be good at dealing with established processes, or is it more important to be comfortable with upsetting the apple cart? In this post I want to explore the relationship between innovation and process, and I’m going...
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Lore of Failure

Some things are so small that they can seem completely insignificant. A misplaced letter perhaps. Take, for instance, the letter L. But in the English language a missing ‘l’ can transform a word. Such as the word “public”. Why do I mention this? Because once upon a time in my public sector career, there was a report from the area that I was working in that was published, and where the letter ‘l’ was indeed...
What roles can a politician play if they want to help promote, push or steer public sector innovation? Our focus here at the Observatory on Public Sector Innovation tends to concentrate on the public service side of things: what government organisations can do to develop and implement more sophisticated approaches to innovation. That involves looking at institutions (what are the frameworks and settings that allow/inhibit innovation), at organisations (how can different administrative practices…
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