Innovation Selection Process

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Innovation is likely to be positively driven by work designs that empower staff to work with end users and network with peers to find novel solutions to pressing problems.
Quite a number of the cases the project collected reflect the importance of work organisation, particularly among the innovation-oriented networks. Working across horizontal networks supplements the traditional top-down hierarchy of bureaucracy and supports staff to expand their resource base and interactions in a way that can redefine how they structure their work. The UK’s Movement to Work showed this in action, with cross-departmental networks implementing an innovation and ensuring its success.
Box 3.5. Ability, motivation and opportunity for innovation: The role of
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Bringing the right people with the right competencies together to accomplish work is at the heart of recruitment and selection. If innovation is the desired outcome, then it can be assumed that hiring a certain profile of staff would help to build innovative capacity.
As discussed at the start of this chapter, innovation is not a single skill, but requires a combination of technical and behavioural skills and competencies. Current work by the OECD is looking at the skills needed by public sector innovators in six related areas: iteration, data literacy, user centricity, curiosity, storytelling and insurgency. It can be more difficult to design recruitment processes that test for these often softer kinds of skill clusters than to test for standard experience and knowledge. This may imply the need to think of recruitment in two layers: the first looking at hard skills (experience and knowledge, especially for specialists) and the second looking at the existence of – or development potential for – behavioural skills sets. This implies the need to incorporate behavioural testing into selection processes and to train all recruiting managers in these
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The management of performance in a broader sense is central to a number of them, especially the holistic management approaches which aim to support employees to maximise their contribution to the organisation’s overall performance, including innovation. For example, Belgium’s New Ways of Working enables more flexibility and thereby more effective and efficient working, while Switzerland’s multiple career paths for lawyers allows a different understanding of performance for different types of people. Sweden’s values management gives employees a clearer understanding of what performance should entail and recognises that in the public sector, performance can sometimes mean balancing contradictions and conflict between values, which can itself be a source of innovation.
Box 3.7. Ability, motivation and opportunity for innovation: The role of performance management
· Performance management can help to build ability to innovate by helping to identify training and development needs and aligning career development with innovation-oriented objectives.
· Performance management can motivate innovation by rewarding innovation-oriented behaviour, and taking care not to discourage appropriate risk taking and learning by doing.
· Performance management can also help to create more opportunities
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