For the last 10 weeks, we’ve discussed innovation in the public sector—why it’s important, what bars it from happening, and where organizations and agencies have successfully found innovative new ways of tackling pressing social issues in areas such as health care, social services, and education. Along the way, we identified five key areas where organizations should focus on making a culture of innovation a reality. First, senior officials and team managers at all levels must lead by example and make clear the importance of innovation. Next, agencies must develop financing tools that help enable innovation. Organizations must also create an open and permeable culture that allows truly cross-cutting innovations to take root. Further, organizations need to be responsive to employees and stakeholders and offer appropriate incentives to reward innovative approaches. Finally, all of these elements must be united within a comprehensive plan to promote innovation in your agency and partner organizations. This last piece in our series is a diagnostic tool for use by you, your colleagues, and your leadership. Your answers to questions on each of the five elements of innovation will produce a report that will broadly identify your agency’s strengths and weaknesses. It is our hope that this report will aid and guide you in choosing next steps as your agency works to become more innovative.
Quiz: Innovation for the Public Good
This is the final installment of a weekly column on government innovation produced by CAP’s Doing What Works team in partnership with the Bellwether Education Partners and the Young Foundation, as part of the “Innovation for the Public Good” series supported by the Rockefeller Foundation. To read more about social innovation in the public sector, see Doing What Works reports “Scaling New Heights” and “Capital Ideas“, and the Young Foundation report “Ready or Not? Taking innovation in the public sector seriously“.