Make a move


Drawing on the six themes of innovation, we’ve identified actions to put innovation in motion.

These actions build on what is practical and already happening in departments.

Each action is an experiment to trial new cross-government structures and opportunities to share, learn, connect and collaborate.

All of these actions will need to change and adapt as we work together to ensure what emerges is useful and sustained.

Understanding, valuing and rewarding

We need leaders who understand, value and reward innovation and those who deliver it.

To encourage a learning culture at all levels, we want to encourage leaders to participate in reverse mentoring (Action 01). To appreciate the power of practical innovation, we want leaders to model it in their everyday work (Action 02).

For leaders to value innovation, we need to not only make our stories more visible, but find ways to reward getting the things that matter done (Action 03).


Reverse mentoring program

Trial a mentoring program that enables VPS executives to learn from more junior staff, to bring fresh perspectives and learning into senior levels.
Investigating demand


Innovation in executive leadership

Build on current departmental trial that has inserted innovation into the performance development plans of VPS executives
In progress
Due December 2018



Celebrate practical innovation

Establish a high-profile event to recognise and reward practical innovation across government
In progress
Due November 2018

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" We don’t always measure public value. Nor do we always reward people for the right thing, emphasising outputs not outcomes. "


Creating space

We need to create space for people to reflect, think and test their ideas so they have a real chance to develop.

Much of what we do and the challenges we face in doing it are common across all departments. So are the solutions. To complement our stories of innovation, we want to access practical details, contacts and lessons that we can apply to improve our work (Action 04). We want to support ways that unlock the potential of our people (Action 05). We want to trial an incubator environment for our biggest problems by drawing together expertise from within and outside government (Action 06).


Practical innovation bank

Trial a common digital space for cross-government sharing of practical resources (case studies, contacts, templates, guides, lessons learned etc.)
Delivered December 2017


Ideas challenge toolkit

Develop tools and other guidance based on government experience of how to run an ideas challenge.
In progress
Due September 2018


Learning lab trial

Trial an incubator environment for cross-government use on a project-by-project basis.
In development
Due October 2018



" I would love having a co-working space for the whole of government to work together. Let’s trust our internal expertise and listen to the evidence we already have.

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Building skills and perspectives

We need more opportunities to build skills and perspectives, to recognise and tap into our latent talents, and to enable us to broaden our perspectives as we work.

There is value in more formal learning. This does not mean theory for theory's sake. Rather, it means taking a pragmatic approach that builds on existing work challenges so the learning is relevant, is peer based (Action 07) and creates real value (Actions 08).

By working and learning directly with new partners (Action 09), we can bridge silos and learn to walk in each other's shoes.



VPS Academy

Trial a new peer learning program (VPS Academy) through two further pilot projects to build the case for scaling.
Ongoing - new cohorts will be sought in 2018. 



Innovation Learning and Development (L&D)

Work with L&D leaders across government to integrate innovation skills into their existing professional L&D programs.


Cross sector exchange

Trial a program that promotes exchange between government and the private or community sectors.
Investigating demand

" We need exchanges to build capability and work experience. This can benefit both ways –  bringing new ways of thinking and new skills "

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Connecting and sharing

We need more ‘horizontal’ structures to enable people working on similar problems to find each other, to connect and share, so we can avoid known mistakes and join heads around similar solutions.

" There must be mechanisms to share learnings, build communities of practice and bring in the right skills at the right time. It all comes back to relationships. "

Engaging in different contexts and with a diverse network of people across government reaffirms how much we have in common (Action 10). Creating a different way to meet others and uncover our shared purpose and challenges can spark unlikely relationships and inspiration (Action 11).

At present, most of us have little way of learning from the stories of our peers who have tried to change things. We need to make these stories of practical innovation more visible, to share and learn from them (Action 12).


VPS-wide ‘innovation’ network

Re-launch the existing innovation network (Victorian Public Sector Continuous Improvement and Innovation Network – VPSCIIN) to be aligned with the priorities of this strategy.
Delivered December 2017


VPS coffee dates

Trial an initiative that randomly matches people who want to meet others across the public sector – to make new connections and explore different perspectives.
Delivered November 2017


Stories of innovation

Collect and share stories of practical innovation from across the VPS, to inspire and learn for future innovation.
Delivered December 2017


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Partnering collaboratively

We need more opportunities to partner collaboratively.

Engaging with broader perspectives and skills that challenge our own is key to a more capable and responsive public sector. We want to learn from the experience of others who have worked with potential providers beyond the traditional (Action 13). We need to create new structures to work in more agile ways (Action 14).

We want to provide ways to seek expertise from across our community (Action 15) so we ‘bring in the right people at the right time to do the right task’.


Provider directory

Trial development of specialist directories for the VPS to access a broader view of potential service providers.
In development
Due December 2018


Agile contract template

Develop a standard cross-government contract for software development that enables a more iterative and flexible approach.
Delivered June 2018



Collaborative procurement

Trial a collaborative procurement approach to procure a solution to a given challenge with the market.
In progress
Due September 2018

" Procurement is very intensive and doesn’t always support a collaborative discussion about the problem you’re trying to solve. The agile approach and working in sprints means that risks are quickly identified and dealt with.

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Practising what we preach

We need to practise what we preach and ‘walk the talk’ with this strategy and its delivery.

To increase visibility and accountability, we will provide regular reports on how it's all going: wins, work underway and lessons learnt (Action 16). We also want to connect with other jurisdictions dealing with the same challenges and opportunities (Action 17).

Finally, this strategy itself is a trial in making innovation more visible and supported across government. Just like all the other examples we've listed, we need to assess the strategy's impact, and adapt as we go to make sure that it delivers on its promise (Action 18).


Reporting progress

Provide quarterly reports on progress against strategy, including what’s working, lessons learned and new initiatives across government.



Build inter-jurisdictional links

Find new opportunities and build relationships across jurisdictions domestically and internationally.


Public Sector Innovation Strategy – next steps

Review impact and learn from strategy implementation to drive the next iteration and continue to build visibility.
Due December 2018

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Looking for some steps to put you in motion right now? Check out:


Innovate now    - for tools, tips and funding

Skill up    - for training and information

Get involved    - to meet people and practice innovation



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