Innovation GPS (Was Barometer)

Senior leaders in the NZ public sector don’t currently have a good way to measure innovation. We set out on a mission to change that.

Man in front of whiteboard
Who we worked with

Department of Internal Affairs, NZTE, NZ G2G, Victoria University of Wellington, StatsNZ, Public Service Commission

What we did together

Develop a new tool to measure innovation in government

Senior leaders in the NZ public sector see innovation as a strategic driver. But they don’t have a good way to measure it, and you can’t manage what you don’t measure. We set out on a mission, collecting 200,000 data points from 2,348 public servants from 12 government organisations to change that. 

We believe that New Zealand can become a world-leader in all  things innovation, across the startup, private and public sectors. As part of supporting Aotearoa in their innovative journey, we’ve found that whilst government innovation projects occur on a project-by-project basis, the right conditions were still required to enable these innovations to be repeatable and scalable across other units and projects. 

We took some of the key learning from our experience running the GovTech Accelerator programme for four years and identified partners in the public sector that would support the development of a tool that measures  an organisation’s innovative capability and capacity. 

How we did it

We started with a problem discovery phase, gathering information from our end users – public sector representatives.

After conducting surveys and interviews with 52 leaders in the public sector, we established that innovation is not measured in the public sector, despite it being recognised as important when delivering upon organisational strategies.

Creative HQ established an advisory board, and partnered with NZ G2G to secure funding from the DIA’s Innovation Fund to develop and pilot a measurement tool with eight government entities. 

The academic vigour behind the framework was provided by Victoria University of Wellington, and informed by the Copenhagen Manual (co-created by an international group that span across 20 countries).

The result

Together, we designed the Innovation GPS, a cross-government tool that provides organisations with rich data and insights on their innovative ability.

The Innovation GPS measures five core areas of innovation: people empowerment, collaboration, leadership, rules and systems, and innovative outputs.

After an organisation completes their innovation assessment, insights are processed and summarised in an interactive report. Results are then contextualised through workshops with both staff and leadership.

Since 2021,  this tool has been implemented with 12 organisations, including central government agencies, local government and a District Health Board.

Examples include the Ministry for the Environment, Hamilton City Council and Auckland DHB. This tool has provided invaluable insights and indicators to improve different innovative areas of their innovation culture. For example,  EECA (Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority) implemented a new Te Ao Māori pillar of people capability as a result of taking the Innovation GPS. 

“The Barometer is the underlying platform for how we are improving as a business.”

Andrew Caseley

Visual Portfolio, Posts & Image Gallery for WordPress