Top Tips: Skills for innovation
1. Set clear goals and let these inform what sort of profiles are needed within the team
Setting the goals and purpose of
your team clearly will enable
you to better understand what
sort of profiles are needed to
achieve your objectives. What
kind of projects are you going
to work on? What kind of
achievements are you aiming for?
For example, on a project where
you are looking to develop new
ways of working with a range of
departments or organisations,
you may be looking for somebody
very connected with the system,
who already has experience and
valuable networks. Or those
people who have the
entrepreneurial skills needed to
bring new people on board. The
profiles you are looking for
need to be connected with what
you are trying to achieve.
2. Stay committed to a belief in the idea that things can be better
Successful innovators are able to
inspire others with a vision of
a better future – which also
sustains their own belief in the
value of what they are doing.
Maintaining focus and a positive
commitment will inspire others
to join in with your mission and
create positive change together.
Designers are naturally
optimistic and always keen to
find new ways around old
problems.Your ability to create
change will be affected by your
attitude to it. Be resilient and
remain undeterred by the
scepticism of others.
3. Value knowledge of current systems and the ability to navigate them
Being able to navigate existing
systems within the public sector
is enormously valuable. Knowing
how bureaucracy works is an
important skill when it comes to
understanding how the public
sector can develop its capacity
to innovate and do new things.
Appreciating and building on the
enormous expertise and
background knowledge in the
public sector can help you to
make the most of it. Identify
the key people who can help you
fill in gaps in your knowledge.
4. Nurture self-motivation and emotional resilience
Emotional resilience and the
ability to motivate yourself are
skills (or perhaps attitudes)
that are often mentioned by
innovators in the public sector.
Emotional resilience helps you
to keep going in the face of
challenges or delays. And being
able to take ownership and stay
self-motivated in driving
forward your project also
encourages others to develop the
5. Broaden skillsets by working collaboratively and building communities of practice
Working collaboratively with others, and building communities of practice that broaden your horizon beyond your own team and organisation, is one of the most important ways to broaden your skillset and evolve your practice.
Communities of practice are groups of people who share a common passion and gather together (sometimes in real life, but often virtually) to engage in a process of collective learning. By sharing your experiences and reflections as part of a group, everyone can benefit. Consider starting a community of practice for your sector, region or area of interest if one doesn’t already exist. Experiment with the format and function, giving the group a chance to explore what works best.