This guide helps public services encourage innovation in order to improve service delivery.

Innovation is often seen as a commercial driver in a manufacturing or research and development context. However, innovation also matters in public services. Public sector bodies will need to use innovation as they try to reconcile rising demand, falling resources and a drive to maintain or improve service quality.

There are many definitions of innovation. The basic nature of innovation is the introduction of something new whether a product (in a manufacturing context) or new ways of producing or delivering a service.

It is also important to recognise that innovation does not necessarily require us to generate brand new ideas or massive transformational change. Many highly successful innovations involve combining two existing ideas to create value or provide service in a new and innovative way. Many innovations can be inspired by elements and principles of practice from elsewhere adapted to fit local circumstances.

This guide provides further information about the effective management of innovation.