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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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The Next Innovation Skills Webinar

“We need more innovation!” It’s a phrase we hear a lot. Politicians, Ministers, Secretary Generals, organisational leaders, and middle managers – mostly everyone agrees that the public sector needs to increase innovation capacity. In response, most of our work at OPSI is geared towards improving, assisting or developing resources that help countries increase their innovation capacity.

One of the quickest and most effective ways to see an immediate increase of innovation capacity is by looking at public sector employees who are already innovating behind the scenes, but may not consider themselves “innovators.” These individuals are experimenting with new ideas, constantly looking for new ways to challenge the status quo, and in some way have kickstarted their  own innovation journey. We all know these kinds of individuals; you might even be that person!

On June 26th we conducted a learning session that was aimed at building and developing new and emerging innovators. We decided to frame the discussion around two core questions: “What is Innovation?”, as well as, in reference to our current lifecycle model, “how could new innovators properly identify problems”?

During the 1-hour session, we introduced:

  1. What do we mean by public sector innovation?
  2. Why do we need it?
  3. What are the skills needed to innovate?
  4. What is the innovation lifecycle?
  5. How can we frame problems better?

Additionally, attendees asked questions around making space for innovation, driving innovation in a risk averse culture, and improving how leaders manage innovation (you can find the recording here).

Targeting Potential Innovators

If you talk to 100 people in an organisation and ask them to each name 3-5 people who are innovators or challengers of the status quo, you’ll end up with a short list of names said often (potentially your strongest current innovators) and a fairly extensive list of people who are prime for improving their innovation skills and abilities.

These are the people that we can do a better job supporting and bringing into our network. By growing our community beyond expert practitioners, we can help grow individuals’ innovation capabilities and increase the number of public sector innovators. Webinars are an inclusive way to support this effort.

Our goal with these innovation skills webinars is to have a useful way for beginners and intermediate innovation practitioners to improve their innovation skills and knowledge. We make the webinars accessible, easy to understand, and cover topics by discussing both theory and real life examples from governments across the world.

Our first Innovation Skills Webinar

We anticipated that there was some pent up demand and a need for this type of discussion, but we were not exactly sure to want extent this discussion was needed/wanted. After we posted the innovation skills webinar, I anxiously checked the next morning to see whether people were as curious as OPSI thought they were about understanding innovation and how they begin their journey as an innovator.

204! 204 registrants in 24 hours. 204 eventually became 385 registrants from over 60 countries. Today, in response to the success of that first webinar, OPSI still consistently receives requests for another follow-up webinar more than a month later.

We Heard You – More Webinars!

We had plenty of lessons learned after our first webinar, but overall, participants gave us extremely positive feedback and we’re excited to introduce our next set of webinars!

The next innovation skills webinar will be on the second phase of our innovation lifecycle: Generating Ideas. Once we have a problem defined, how do we come up with new and innovative ideas? It will be on Wednesday, September 5th at 3pm Paris time. You can register here.

We will also have a webinar on October 3rd at 3pm Paris time on the 3rd part of the innovation lifecycle – developing proposals. Once we have a list of ideas, how do we narrow down those ideas and come up with proposals for “selling” your innovation?  You can register here.

If you are reading this, you probably are already along your public sector innovation journey, but do you know others that might benefit from the webinar? Feel free to share the webinar information with your network and encourage them to join, have a viewing party (shout-out to CPSI from South Africa for modelling this during our last webinar), and join the growing community of public sector innovators building the future of government together!

We are looking forward to seeing you all there!