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Joan Munro - Fostering Innovation in Local Councils - PPMA Seminar April 2012

Joan Munro - Fostering Innovation in Local Councils - PPMA Seminar April 2012






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  • Pulled together our learning so far into this Framework.Aim to provide something short enough for Chief Executives to read and use as a tool to reviewing to see if there is more they can do to increase and accelerate innovative working.Today I will highlight:What chief executives are learning about innovationThe difference between encouraging high performance and encouraging innovationWhat else chief executives might do to accelerate innovation

Joan Munro - Fostering Innovation in Local Councils - PPMA Seminar April 2012 Joan Munro - Fostering Innovation in Local Councils - PPMA Seminar April 2012 Presentation Transcript

  • FosteringInnovation inLocal CouncilsJoan MunroInnovation Researcher27th April 2012
  • InnovationInnovations are changes to services, products, organisationalarrangements or democratic approaches that are both: New to the council Deliver additional value for service users & citizensInnovation continuum ranges from small scale improvementsto radical disruptive, game changing, breakthrough changes.Successful organisations have a healthy mix of innovations atdifferent points on the continuum.Given current challenges local councils probably need toachieve more radical innovations.
  • Accelerating Innovation inLocal Government ResearchKey Aims  Identify what chief executives can do to encourage innovation.  Promote this learning to local councils.  Contribute to research evidence on innovation in public services.Process  Building on NESTA‟s Everyday Innovation research  Discussion with group of 8 Chief Executives July 2011  Interviewed 12 Chief Executives, July to December 2011:  Bexley, Kingston upon Thames, Lewisham, Lambeth  Buckinghamshire, Somerset, Rutland, Norfolk  South Tyneside, Gateshead, Bristol, Redcar & Cleveland Between April to October 2012 testing with councils
  • Key findings so far Very few councils have comprehensive approach to innovation Many doing some of the things that contribute to achieving innovations In some, haphazard & limited approach Few have expertise in innovation nor understanding of latest technology Private sector contracts don‟t necessarily bring innovation
  • Local Councils‟ InnovationFramework
  • Service user & citizen focus
  • Most successful innovationsare at the serviceinterface, betweenoperational managers andleading edge service users.Barry Quirk, LB Lewisham
  • I challenge our whole teamfrom the perspective of aresident. “If you were aresident, would you wantyour money spent on that?”Martin Swales, SouthTyneside
  • People on the front line doing thecustomer contact day in day outand the senior people supportingthem should always be thinkingabout the customer.David White, Norfolk CountyCouncil.
  • It is important to let customers driveinnovation. Are our services stillrelevant to the changing needs ofthe public? Are we sufficientlyparanoid, or are we just carryingon doing what we decided ondoing three years ago?Barry Quirk, LB Lewisham
  • Questions: Are your operational managers „walking in service users‟ shoes‟? Are they involving „leading edge‟ service users in innovations? Is the council doing enough to unlock and develop community capacity for innovation?
  • Vision & Priorities
  • The key thing is having a really clearidea about what you are trying to do;have absolute clarity. It is essential tohave the support of the majority ofpeople: residents, staff, partnersand, especially, local politicians.Amanda Skelton, Redcar andCleveland
  • We agreed that the corebusiness of the council is toprotect the most vulnerablemembers of the community.Then we looked at the things ofmost concern to our residents.The stuff in the middle is wherewe are focusing innovation.Chris Williams, Buckinghamshire
  • Questions: Isthe vision ambitious and inspiring, but attainable? Are politicians clear about the most important areas for innovation in the medium and long-term? Are politicians prepared for experimentation, considered risk taking and necessary failures in these areas?
  • Leadership
  • Bringing together the right top teamis really really important if you wantto achieve innovative change.Derrick Anderson, LB Lambeth
  • Communicating, Telling a story – explaining giving meaning why, convincing, i nspiring Having the Listening answers to difficultBeing open & questionshonest, sharin g issues Doing it face Saying it to face again & again
  • We can‟t rule by command andcontrol. My job is to ensure that themanagers create the space, andpromote the right set of behavioursfor that creativity to flourish, as longas it is meeting the corporategoals.David White, Norfolk CountyCouncil.
  • Sometime I ask the question „andwhat is stopping you?‟ Frequentlymanagers perceive barriers thataren‟t necessarily there.Jan Ormondroyd, Bristol CityCouncil.
  • It is important to get the trajectoryright. You can‟t be at the depth ofyour restructuring because of austerityall the time. You have got to showsome light. And you can‟t be too farahead. You need to keep growingthe proportion of the longer term andmoving the horizons out a bit.Will Tuckley, LB Bexley.
  • People have different models ofleadership: NelsonMandela, MahatmaGandhi, Winston Churchill or RudyGiuliani in 9/11. The picture I put upis Alan Titchmarsh. It‟s aboutnurturing and sticking with things.Bruce McDonald, LB Kingston uponThames.
  • Questions? Isthe top team of politicians and managers focusing enough time and effort on innovation? Do leaders and managers fully understand and operate innovation processes and techniques? Do they persist until innovations work?
  • Strategic Approach
  • When we are doing theexploratory, complex, ground breakingstuff, you can set some objectives atthe outset but you can‟t say toeverybody „this is how it is‟.Bruce McDonald, LB Kingston uponThames.
  • We operate in the goldfish bowl ofpublic accountability. Which caneasily mean blame when peoplemake an error. Every innovation hasa long line of failures until itbecomes a success.Barry Quirk, LB Lewisham
  • What is a bright idea depends onthe context. You can have all sortsof bright ideas, but it is never goingto happen because you don‟trecognise the barriers or you don‟tchime with the aspirations with otherplayers you are not going to getthere.Will Tuckley, LB Bexley.
  • Questions:Do you have: Sufficient resources and time devoted to innovations? Major innovation processes protected from organisational norms and pressures? Policies that support intelligent, well- managed, appropriate risk taking? The expertise to fully exploit the latest new technologies?
  • Organisational culture
  • Developing a culturethat expects managersto try new things isprobably the mostimportant thing for chiefexecutives to do.Barry Quirk, LB Lewisham
  • Is innovation promoted through:  Leaders‟ and managers‟ everyday behaviours?  Values, norms and working practices?  Safeguarding time for reflection?  Involving people with diverse views?  Encouraging healthy debates?  Looking elsewhere for fresh ideas?  Celebrating innovations?  A no-blame approach, when well planned experiments fail?
  • Cross boundary working
  • Increasingly it is somecross-boundaryinnovations that are goingto produce more.Jan Ormondroyd, BristolCity Council.
  • Bringing partners onboard, particularly „funky‟people outside of our ownbackground has helpedtremendously.Roger Kelly, Gateshead.
  • Questions:Are you successfully delivering innovationsthrough: Cross-council working? Positive partnerships with external organisations? Your commissioning, procurement and contract management arrangements?
  • Employees
  • Getting talented people in the rightbits of the organisation is absolutelycrucial. We have very cumbersomestructural and HR arrangements thatdon‟t help you in putting the rightpeople where you need them.Jan Ormondroyd, Bristol City Council.
  • There is something, not just aboutyounger people, but also newermembers of staff, who thinkdifferently. And encouragingthat, not having them completelyconstrained by organisationalboundaries, is going to be evenmore important in the future.Jan Ormondroyd, Bristol CityCouncil.
  • We are living in a different world interms of how people communicateand respond to information. We needpeople in the organisation who aretapped into that, because that is howit is going to be in the future.Jan Ormondroyd, Bristol City Council.
  • Questions:Do you: Have enough employees, in the right positions, with:  Fresh perspectives and ideas?  The determination and drive to make innovations happen? Encourage all employees to come up with and develop better ways of doing things? Involve frontline employees in innovation processes?
  • Delivery
  • It is about getting the balanceright between vision, processand outcomes. Projectmanagement is a reallyimportant tool. We want stuff tohappen consistently.Bruce McDonald, LB Kingstonupon Thames.
  • Questions:Do you have: Effective ways of tracking and delivering innovations? Sufficient innovation process experts? A systematic approach to evaluating and learning from both successful and unsuccessful innovations?
  • “Ideas are a dime a dozen. What‟smore important is the execution: thealignment of the right ideas, theright team, the right developmentprocess, the right leadership, theright level of risk management, theright target, the right time to marketand so on.”Jones and Samlionis, IDEO
  • Keep intouch Framework & other materials available at: http://creativity.city.ac.uk/accelerating_local_govt_inno v.html Chief executives‟ self assessment questions Frontline staff focus groups formats Keep me informed about what you are learning:  joan.munro.1@city.ac.uk  Tel: 0779 2952 498