Voices from Accenture Public Service

Last month I introduced some new Accenture research: our global study of government innovation. We interviewed people at nearly 600 government organizations representing 10 countries and various aspects of the public sector. And we’ve shared preliminary results—including the fact that just 8 percent of government organizations stand out as Innovation Leaders. 

I’m looking forward to peeling back in future posts some of the most interesting findings about what makes the 8 percent stand out from their peers. But before I do that, I wanted to provide a closer look at Accenture’s Innovation Framework, which guided the research and helped us in assessing performance against five pillars.  

These pillars—Strategy, Ideation, Absorption, Execution and Impact & Benefits—are valuable not just for conducting research but, more importantly, for understanding how to bring innovation to life within your organization. 

Here’s a quick look at the pillars and the role each plays in nurturing sustainable innovation: 

  • Strategy – recognizing the importance of innovation, strategically advancing partnerships externally and fostering collaboration internally 
  • Ideation – implementing a process for developing ideas to support innovation and change both internally and externally; generating a supply of ideas to drive innovation 
  • Absorption – being able to “absorb” innovation throughout the culture, with the most promising ideas chosen for execution; assigning ownership of innovation and permitting risk taking 
  • Execution – being able to act on innovative ideas using both internal and external capabilities 
  • Impact & Benefits – having a disciplined way to track and measure the difference that an innovation makes; experiencing real benefits from innovations 

These pillars aren’t sequentially implemented. Each represents an ongoing effort, an aspect of your organizational culture. All are highly interrelated and interdependent. In upcoming posts, I’ll be sharing what the study revealed about each pillar—and how to translate that into results within your agency. 

Until then, I invite you to weigh in with your thoughts on making innovation work in government. For additional insights on bringing the back office to the forefront of government innovation, visit us here, and follow me on LinkedIn and Twitter. 

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