Innovation in the public sector is about creating value: doing things better, cheaper or quicker. But it is not always about technology or building shiny new products.
There could also be a particularly knotty problem to solve or a strategic, emerging theme that needs addressing around policy, process or people. In all of these cases, I would encourage leaders to look at their issues through the lens of problem solving and innovation.
Currently the UK public sector spends over £300 billion on third party goods and services every year, so is in a great position to shape new markets through innovation. Innovation is critical to the public sector to ensure we can get more with our spend, and at the same time, create new innovative products that could be sold around the world.
Sometimes authorities fall into a trap of trying to do everything themselves, but public bodies need to work with the market to co-create new ideas and solutions. A key starting point is to define the problem and go out to the market with a mission focused approach and setting out the right conditions to successfully scale, which includes using the right procurement route to market.