Fostering Innovation in Government
One of the most important functions of leaders in government is to foster a
climate of innovation. Innovation does not occur by top-down fiat, but
rather by engaging all employees in the process of looking for better ways
of doing things.
This section pulls together information about successful strategies that
have been successfully used to encourage innovation in the public sector.
In March 2011 the Partnership for Public Service and the Hay Group published
this report, which is based on their study of 12 winners of the Service to
America Medals who had created innovative work climates where employees achieved
outstanding results. The report identifies nine attributes that
consistently appeared among the group and recommends that agencies
strive to cultivate, hire, and promote innovation leaders.
This classic article by Ellen Schall was first published in
Innovation in American Government (Brookings Institution Press,
1997). The author served as Commissioner of the Department of
Juvenile Justice in New York City from 1983 to 1990 and was credited for
turning what had been a fairly troubled agency into an innovative and
highly effective organization. In this article, Schall provides a
superb overview of the strategies she used with respect to frontline
workers and organizational structure to bring about profound change.
Contains a great deal of useful--and actionable--wisdom. Reprinted
by the kind permission of the
Brookings Institution Press
In this article from State and Local Government Review, Bob Behn
distills lessons from several of the innovative and high-performance
government organizations he has studied. He starts with the
premise that "[creative organizations] are created by leaders who
establish the conditions necessary to bring out the innovative ideas
within everyone." Not all of his hints are easy to implement
(he is, after all, writing about public management), but he cites
several compelling examples of public sector organizations that have
used these tactics with tremendous success. This is a great read.
Reprinted by the kind permission of
State and Local
Most employees have ideas about how to improve their organization.
Unfortunately, many managers fail to encourage employees to contribute their
ideas--or inadvertently discourage
them from doing so. This article
discusses several techniques managers can use to foster innovation in a way that can
energize employees and improve your operation.
Would you ever guess that the U.S. Department of State has a Center for
Administrative Innovation? Or that the administrative sections at
six U.S. Embassies are ISO 9000 certified (and seven more will be soon)?
This speech by Assistant Secretary of State for
Administration Bill Eaton outlines the management philosophy that has
launched a major transformation of administrative services at State. This is a
great story of quality, innovation, performance measurement--and leadership.
Posted by GovLeaders.org with permission.
This column, first published in the April 2002 issue of the Foreign
Service Journal, argues that mid-level managers at the State
Department are vital to the success of Secretary of State Colin Powell's
reform efforts. It outlines seven simple management principles
that managers can use to help make the State Department a more effective
organization--and a better place to work. Reproduced
by GovLeaders.org with the consent of the
American Foreign Service Association.
This report from the
IBM Endowment for the Business of
Government outlines how Phoenix cultivated the culture of innovation
that enabled it to become the "Best Run City in America."
© GovLeaders.org 2002-2012