Innovation performance in the public sector

Seminar at VINNOVA

Today I was invited to join a seminar at The Swedish Agency for Innovation Systems (VINNOVA) on innovation performance in the public sector. I was primarily invited as a member of the RISE ILX project, but my personal objective was mainly to network with colleagues and hopefully to get new insights in other engagements from the perspective of an innovation management researcher. Since I am doing a lot of contract research work for the public sector, it is always valuable to keep in the loop of ongoing initiatives.

The Leadership Lab venture
The venture was called “The Leadership Lab” and the projects that had been financed by VINNOVA were all completely experimental. The entire purpose was to “lab” stuff, thus experimenting with the purpose to initiate or create new innovation management services. The secondary purpose was to initiate cooperation between service providers, researchers and public organizations with the need to increase their innovation performance.

VINNOVA had a full house as the interest for public sector innovation management is big.
VINNOVA had a full house this afternoon as the interest for public sector innovation is huge.

Important take-aways
I was a bit frustrated to learn how low the basic knowledge of innovation management is in most organizations. We had a blend of various organizations present, but few of them were very familiar with even the fundamentals of innovation management. What we are currently doing in Uppsala is just miles ahead, which was in one way very reassuring, but at the same time pretty saddening. I certainly hope that we down the road will be able to share the results of the work done in Uppsala with the rest of the public sector. This would definitely induce overall development and raise the levels of innovation outcomes. Everybody seems to be embracing innovation, but few seems to know how to approach it. Fortunately most of them has understood that they are in need of help to pursue an innovation management thrust professionally, they just don’t really know who to turn to.

To me this further indicates the absolute vitality of introducing a national competence node focusing on innovation management, what is now under the working title “RISE ILX”.