20 Tools For Innovating in Government
The 21st-century public servant is expected to be adept at change. The best will also have access to the tools of an innovator and have embraced a growth mindset which looks outwards to new possibilities.
This shift in public servant skill sets has been catalysed, in the UK at least, by cuts to public sector budgets which mean services can no longer be delivered as they once were, as well as soaring demand from ageing populations. But efficiency and demand aside, perhaps the primary motivator has been governments around the world seeking out a new role, moving away from the paternalistic institutions that did things to and for people, and towards a role as facilitators of new solutions for places and economies. These changes require a reimagining of the public sector, which in turn requires government innovators.
Being an innovator inside or alongside government can feel isolating. Whereas entrepreneurs in the private sector are now overwhelmed with advice and finance, government innovators have fewer support structures, finance options and mentors to draw from.
This handbook is designed for those innovators seeking to make change happen. It’s a digest of 20 tools that are proven to help innovation flourish inside government, based on our work over more than a decade in UK local and central government, as well as with more than 30 international governments. So whether you are a delivery manager or a policymaker, whether you work in national or local government, whether your role is externally or internally facing, this handbook is for you.
Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society. Nesta is based in the UK and supported by a financial endowment. We work with partners around the globe to bring bold ideas to life to change the world for good.