Other parts of this series:
- Surveying innovation in government
- Five must-haves of government innovation
- The secret lives of government innovation leaders
- Do you make space for government innovation?
- Government innovation starts with steady stream of ideas
- Ideas to action: Executing on government innovation
- Quantifying the impact of government innovation: The proof is in the pudding
- Weaving government innovation into your strategy
- Lead with Innovation. (Your Culture Will Follow.)
Accenture recently surveyed governments on the five pillars of the Accenture Innovation Framework: Strategy, Ideation, Execution, Absorption and Impact & Benefits. The study identified some of the habits and behaviours of government innovation leaders across 10 countries. For example, innovation leaders are more likely to have innovation ecosystems, to carve out space for innovation and to get creative with innovation incentives.
Interestingly, our findings also made it clear that Strategy isn’t necessarily a prerequisite for driving government innovation. Ideation—generating a steady stream of ideas—is arguably a better place to start. And when it comes to Ideation, more is better.
We found that government agencies are getting knowledge, guidance and information from an entire “village”—with public/private partnerships and current employees emerging as the most prolific sources. Our research also revealed that government innovation leaders use a greater number of sources to support Ideation (6.4 sources for leaders vs. 5.2 sources for everyone else).
Leaders are also more likely to engage in a larger number of Ideation activities (4.2 compared to 3.2). The most popular tactics:
- Innovation and Ideation-related workshops with internal and external partners
- Employees using digital platforms to interact and share ideas.
Other Ideation activities include:
- Training and learning for employees
- Being part of multifunctional teams to generate new ideas
- Giving employees the freedom and flexibility to engage in innovation-related tasks
- Internally sharing customer research and evaluation results.
No matter how ideas are generated, it’s important to ensure strong focus on the agency’s mission. Whether combating the opioid crisis or reducing traffic congestion, innovation in the back office can lead to improvements in government outcomes. And while Ideation is an ideal place to kick-start government innovation, it needs a tight connection to Execution—the pillar I’ll explore in more detail in my next post.
Until then, please share your thoughts on how your experiences align with what we’ve learned about government innovation leaders. How many different sources does your agency turn to when generating ideas? Are you looking outside the four walls of your organization as you generate a strong pipeline of ideas?