Deloitte: Governments can address crisis by becoming more innovative

by Editor 4/9/2009 3:16:00 PM
Governments around the world can address many of society’s biggest challenges such as the current economic crisis by becoming better at innovating. According to "The public innovator’s playbook: Nurturing bold ideas in government,” published by Deloitte Research in the U.S. with the Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Institute for the Democratic Governance and Innovation, governments have the opportunity to help improve the economic environment, create jobs, and more efficiently manage costs.

“Now more than ever, governments, which are facing revenue slowdowns, must embrace more creative and different approaches to daunting problems,” said Greg Pellegrino, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Public Sector Industry Leader. “They must adopt innovation as a discipline in the government organization, and create a culture where anyone can contribute ideas -employees, partners, citizens, private organizations and governments from other states or countries- in order to produce successful new processes and practices on regular bases.”

According to the book, governments currently innovate. Moreover, some creative approaches in the private sector come from the public sector. However, few governments take an integrated view of the process or treat it as a discipline–which includes methodic processes, reward systems, and a mission linked to the process and organizational structure.

“Typically, new ideas or processes come either in response to a crisis or a specific new project championed by one individual. Once the crisis has passed or certain individuals have moved on, the organization is left with no lasting capacity for ongoing innovation,” said co-author William D. Eggers, Deloitte Global Research Director, Public Sector, who wrote the playbook together with Shalabh Kumar Singh, also from Deloitte Research in the U.S.

The Deloitte book also recommends giving employees and outside partners a stake in the results, and benefit from other organizations’ creativity around the globe–either public or private. "This book lays out a blueprint for embracing innovation in the public sector," said Stephen Goldsmith, director of the Innovations in American Government Program at Harvard Kennedy School's Ash Institute. "Government must leverage creative approaches and adopt new practices from all sources to produce sustainable change. This book is an important companion for those government officials looking to help make government better at nurturing bold ideas and delivering great results."

For more information, view or download the book at

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