Innovation Toolkit – Draft mechanism of challenge module

[Originally published on the Australian Government Public Sector Innovation Network under a Creative Commons 3.0 BY AU licence]

Following on from our request for comment on the draft ideas management systems module, we would like your input on the draft module on mechanisms of challenge.

As mentioned, for each of the tools identified in Empowering Change: Fostering Innovation in the Australian Public Service we are developing a ‘module’ to try and provide you with information about how the tools can be used.

I have found that a mechanism of challenge in the innovation context is a quite a ‘challenging’ concept. Basically it is a means by which people can challenge an aspect of an agency’s operations or the policies, processes and rules for which they are responsible. The challenge, in this context, must relate to something that is stopping or inhibiting a particular innovation that could be of value.

Such a mechanism can be important in ensuring that potentially good ideas are not stopped unnecessarily by unintended or unexpected consequences of existing policies, processes or rules.

The module (PDF) (RTF) attempts to outline the principles behind a mechanism of challenge, how it can assist the innovation process in public sector agencies, and some examples of what such a mechanism can look like.

We would appreciate your comments as to whether you think it sufficiently covers the basics and whether there’s anything missing. In particular, I would like your thoughts on:

    • Are you aware of any other examples of a mechanism of challenge for innovation purposes in the public sector (either public or internal)? They might be Australian or international examples.
    • If you were responsible for introducing such a mechanism in your agency, would the attached provide you with sufficient guidance?