The Ideation pillar of the Accenture Innovation Framework focuses on how agencies generate ideas in support of government innovation. In our global study—spanning nearly 600 public service professionals in 10 countries—we explored how government innovation leaders manage ideation.
We found that ideation takes a village. Governments are getting knowledge, guidance and information from an entire ecosystem—including public/private partnerships and current employees. Yet government innovation leaders use a greater number of sources compared to everyone else. Government innovation leaders also use a greater variety of tactics to generate and pursue innovative ideas—and more incentives to reward employees who suggest them.
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Follow the government innovation leaders for ideation
Accenture analysis and experience point to practices that can help improve the way agencies generate ideas for government innovation:
- Consciously structure your ideation ecosystem. Don’t limit yourself to only a few partners. Play to your natural geographic and intellectual advantages. Survey your landscape to determine who can contribute most easily and consistently to your ideation process.
- Try a wide variety of methods for innovation and incentives. When it comes to ideation, more is better. Using diverse methods lets you test what works in your context. Diverse methods and incentives also enable you to engage team members with varying workstyles and motivations.
- Focus ideation on priority outcomes. Don’t be technology driven—be mission driven. Be clear about priorities around people, policy, process and service delivery.
- Strongly tie your ideation process to execution and anticipated benefits. Encourage “blue sky” thinking but also test good ideas with proofs of concept (POCs) as soon as possible. Gathers lots of perspective on your ideas and POCs. Determine how you will evaluate the effectiveness of a new idea—and be rigorous in evaluating that idea according to your plan.