Innovation in Government (again)


Cabinet Office Minister Liam Byrne has announced a new ‘Innovation Council’ to fast-track ‘front-line’ innovation.

Unfortunately the 12 people named for the ‘Council’ include 6 civil servants (about 10% of the public service), only one local government person (about 25%), a couple from the health service people (also about 25%) and some voluntary sector people – a small fraction of ‘public’ activity.  

“If we want Whitehall to focus on innovation, we have to change the signals we give at the top – and the support we give policymakers at the bottom. And crucially we have to showcase the kind of innovation we want to see, in a way that keeps the ‘flash-to-bang’ as fast as possible” says Byrne.

I can’t help thinking something dominated by Whitehall insiders might not be the best way of achieving this.

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About Prof. Colin Talbot

Professor of Government (Emeritus). Universities of Cambridge and Manchester, England.
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