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“What is innovation, anyway?” It is a question we are asked at the OECD Observatory of Public Sector Innovation (OPSI) every day. The concept of innovation is varied and confusing. Intentionally managing and steering innovation in governments even more so. While the OECD’s public sector innovation definition outlines that innovation is something that is novel to the context, implemented and brings about impact (for example in the form…
“We create and re-create narratives throughout our lives to make sense of what happened, to process experience, to interpret and reinterpret our view of the world as life unfolds. I believe that beautiful and difficult process is what it is to be human.” Lauren Oakes For me, significant transitions in life prompt such introspection and recreation of narratives – to reflect on key moments that have shaped who I am and how I think. Recently,...
Much of what the public sector seeks to do through innovation aims at making life simpler for citizens: adapting to evolving needs while also improving agility in the design and delivery of programs and services. Over the course of the past year in particular, governments have been relying heavily on adaptive innovation and agile approaches to respond to the rapidly changing needs of society. On 8 June 2021, OPSI, with the support of the EU...
On May 11th 2021, OPSI hosted a workshop in partnership with the Austrian Federal Ministry for Civil Service and Sport on Enhancement-Oriented Innovation, as part of our ongoing work on the Innovation facets through our Horizon 2020 programme of research. Over 100 people representing 36 nationalities joined us to hear about  the relationships between innovation and public sector efficiency and productivity, as well as methods and tools…
This article is jointly published on the UCL IIPP blog. As part of an ongoing partnership between the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP) and the OECD’s Observatory of Public Sector Innovation (OPSI), we hosted an online immersive workshop on 2 December 2020 to explore the challenges and opportunities of directing mission-oriented innovation in practice. The event brought together leaders from across a range of government institutions in OECD countries and from the...
Do you know about real-world cases and examples of innovation management? OPSI would like to hear from you. We are starting work with Vinnova, Sweden’s Innovation Agency to explore what good innovation management looks like in practice. We will take a systematic approach to understanding the role, nature, barriers, and enablers of innovation in an organisation. This means considering innovation activities within a wider context of (e.g., leadership, culture, processes, capabilities) rather…
We are taking OPSI’s portfolio exploration and assessment support into the virtual realm. We are asking for 20-30 minutes of your time to share initial thoughts and feedback on our first draft of questions for exploring:   The way your organisation’s innovation portfolio is oriented  Your organisation’s overall portfolio management capability   Following the set of questions, there is an example output based on hypothetical inputs. We…
OPSI is researching innovation portfolios as part of our European Commission Horizon 2020 work and we are developing a self-guided portfolio assessment tool for people to analyse and explore their own organisational innovation portfolio. We welcome your feedback.  Hero-innovators are imaginary Does your organisations still believe in hero-innovators? Probably not. Based on our research and observations, in order for innovation to be impactful, organisations need a lot of distributed…
How might we take advantage of the possibilities that emerge in a crisis to build a better innovation portfolio? We took that question to a recent workshop with a delegation from the Government of Montenegro. The Montenegrins showed us what true agility looks like in practice. Montenegro: Fledgling or Agile? For context, Montenegro is currently one of two countries (including Serbia) in negotiation talks to accede to the European Union and this fact is an...
For better or worse, the minutiae of government operations can easily fly under the radar of the average person. Not so, in the domain of education. The success or failure of an education system hits close to home, as most people have been through it. If they later come to care for learners who go to school, any faraway memories of textbooks and schoolyard games transmute into something more urgent. The school becomes a locus...
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