The Innovation Strategy


Defining innovation

We see innovation as change that adds value.

Innovation is a tricky term. For many people, ‘innovation’ smacks of being trendy and self-serving. For others, it sounds scary or intimidating. In the end, innovation for its own sake is not the point: the point is finding new ways to create better outcomes. Given the ‘i-word’ will be around for some time, we need meaningful and practical ways to talk about it.

Innovation is about how we, as government, work in a new or different way to improve people’s lives.

This can involve:

  • improving the way we work internally
  • thinking differently about a policy problem
  • re-designing an existing service so it better responds to community needs.

Innovation is primarily about people

Public sector innovation has to start and end with the communities we serve.

Helping improve the lives of people is why many of us joined the public service. While innovation requires a fundamental commitment from us as public servants, we also recognise that innovation can come from anywhere.

The greatest innovation often occurs from joining the best minds from academia, industry or community organisations, and embracing diversity as our key strength.

Innovation must be practical and doable

It doesn’t have to mean inventing something ‘new’, or always involve radical change. But it does have to be more than a good idea.

It’s about applying good ideas to improve the way we work to solve real-life problems that matter.

design   implement   complete

learn   adapt   progress


When we find things that do work (and when they don’t), it’s about capturing and sharing those stories to spur more innovation, or to avoid making the same mistakes.


Next page: Our innovation goals