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It was thought that, given the relative lack of policy related innovations in our dataset, it was not surprising that less origins came from Ministers.

23. However, many focus group participants were concerned that front line or junior staff members did not seem to be a source of innovative ideas:

  • o

    “ . . . if you look, front line staff and users of services are almost absent. Whereas I would think that most innovations come from users of services and public, that somehow doesn’t seem right.” (Senior civil servants group)

    • o

      “Certainly front line staff have ideas that are taken forward but have not shown up here.” (Mid-level civil servants group)

    • o

      “I would say that it is disappointing that the end user is so low.” (Management consultants group)

    • o

      “ . . . therefore that lack of focus on the end user is very difficult. That needs to be flagged up. That’s where the innovation should focus . . . “ (Management consultants group)

24. The participants felt that the results may not show lack of innovative ideas from front line staff or from end users, but may be due to other factors:

  • o

    “ . . . the low figures on end-users or customer experience perhaps may flow from the fact that civil servants don’t view themselves as having customers.” (Management consultants group)

    • o

      “I wonder if the end user or customer experience is so low as that is where the most political risks are for a lot of these departments. I mean if you get the way some of the internal management works wrong, then you don’t necessarily get hauled in front of the PAC for it.” (Management consultants group)

    • o

      In relation to employee suggestion schemes: “ . . . the problem is that in the public sector there isn’t the confidence that many suggestions are implemented or acted upon.” (Business group)

Triggers for innovative ideas

25. The participants then discussed triggers to innovations. Here, the idea for an innovation has already been had, but the idea needs to be pushed to the next stage. Following on from the point above, it was thought that ideas from front line staff needed senior input in order to move an innovation forward:

  • o

    “I think the junior staff are very prepared to put forward ideas . . . but there is the thing that an idea from a director is more likely to be implemented than one that is not.” (Mid-level civil servants group)

    • o

      “ . . . [our nominated innovation] it did come from the staff, but in actually developing it, it needed the people with more seniority to give it the wings it needed . . . “ (Project manager level civil servants group)

    • o

      “Front line staff feel empowered to make suggestions to improve the particular job that they are working on. But more senior managers would have both the power and the responsibility to be looking at a bigger picture. . . The people who would have the time and the

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