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experience to make those kind of judgements, would be fairly senior managers.” (Mid-level civil servants group)

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    “Driving an innovation often comes from someone at the top picking up an idea that is in the ether whether it is coming from junior staff, or from best practice elsewhere.” (Senior civil servants group)

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      “My perception is there is far more willingness to seek improvements through innovation throughout the middle to senior managers than there would have been 10 to15 years ago.” (Senior civil servants group)

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      “Senior managers get their way more often, that is about resources. They can turn half the team towards a new task, they have that power.” (Mid-level civil servants group)

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      “Senior managers have more flexibility about how they use their own staff time, they have responsibility and are able to think more outside the job.” (Mid-level civil servants group)

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      “I think you have to have strong middle managers who can lead because if you haven’t got that the junior staff won’t engage and drift away. But with that, its a good way of going forward. (Mid-level civil servants group)

26. This has been recognised by senior central government organisations as one Business group participant commented:

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        “ . . . much of the innovation that occurs in the public sector is by parachuting in senior private sector people and they may or may not be successful in their negotiations to what extent they can drive that change through.”

  • 27.

    A variety of other triggers to innovation were mentioned:

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      “ . . . cooperation is the largest factor and getting departments talking to each other is an extremely good way, effective way of getting innovations and new ways of doing things into other departments.” (Senior civil servants group)

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        “I think one of the best ways to innovate is having rival teams to come with ideas. Competition.” (Management consultants group)

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        “ . . . all the best innovations come from operations staff working closely with their managers to actually deliver a product quickly.” (Project manager level civil servants group)

Developers and barriers

28. The focus groups then moved on to consider aspects that develop innovations and act as barriers to innovation. These are obviously closely related. It created a lot of discussion within all seven groups, most chose to concentrate their comments on barriers to innovation. Some major themes emerged from the discussions about what barriers exist. The first, and most overarching barrier was one of culture within central government organisations which constrain innovations:

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    “In the civil service, I need to convince my boss, who has to convince her boss, who has to convince her boss and so on.” (Mid-level civil servants group)


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