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Ready or Not? Taking innovation in the public sector seriously

Author: Julie Caulier Grice
Published Date: 23 February 2008

According to conventional wisdom, public organisations cannot innovate as they lack the competitive spur that drives businesses to create new products and services. In the public sector, too many ideas are frustrated, shelved or forgotten. There are however some profound examples of innovation from the public sector, with for instance, the internet and world wide web coming out of public organisations: DAPRA and CERN.

In this paper, Geoff Mulgan argues that governments have learned a lot over the last 30 years about how to be more efficient and take customers more seriously. They now have to learn a new set of skills. Public sector organisations need to learn how to innovate and serve the public, not only by being competent in the present, but also by being ready for the future.

This report was funded by NESTA.