Government innovation: Citizens value and want more of it. An Accenture survey of 590 government professionals across 10 countries found almost universal recognition of what citizens are asking of them. Yet just 8 percent of agencies in the study emerged as government innovation leaders.

What results are innovation leaders achieving? What are they doing that sets them apart? And, how can we apply their habits and behaviors to fuel innovation in other organizations?

RELATED: Unleashing innovation: Learn from the leaders from Accenture

Government innovation leaders achieve key benefits at a higher rate than other agencies that have tried innovations.

Learn from government innovation leaders

Accenture’s study uncovered some surprising practices of government innovation leaders:

  • Unexpected partnerships. Leaders are more likely to work with at least one private partner to get knowledge, guidance or information that feeds into their innovation activities. They also think creatively when it comes to partnerships and are ready to discuss the need to be innovative with external stakeholders, such as citizens/customers, companies, suppliers and other public agencies.
  • Diffused innovation. The study shows that different approaches work for different organizations. Leaders don’t limit themselves to an “Office of Innovation” or one “Director of Innovation.” Instead, different people oversee different parts of the innovation process.
  • Continual communications. Government innovation leaders stay in touch by sending regular email messages and dedicating time for discussions about innovation.
  • Creative incentives. The leaders demonstrate that money isn’t the only way to encourage innovation. They employ a range of incentives, including innovation- and ideation-related workshops with both internal and external participants, relevant training and learning for employees, and opportunities for honorary placements or fellowships inside and outside the agency.
  • Dedicated spaces. Government innovation leaders make space—literal and metaphoric—to nurture the work of innovation. That may include offering coaching/mentors for innovators facing new challenges and physical space for ideation, prototyping and innovation work.

Mark Howard

Segment Lead – Global Administration

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