An introduction to public leadership
An introduction to public leadership

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2.2.4 Innovation in the public services

In this brief excerpt from a lecture given to an international audience in 2013, Professor Jean Hartley examines the distinctions between improvement, change and innovation in the context of public services. She examines innovation, once again highlighting some of the specific challenges for public leaders of applying and adapting conventional leadership principles.

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As Professor Hartley suggests, significant changes or innovations in public service provision often happen as a result of the actions of a politician.

Activity 3

Identify the most fundamental recent change or innovation in your own sphere, and think about (a) how you responded, (b) how your colleagues and/or staff responded, and (c) how the public responded. In what ways did it ‘change the relationship’ between you, your colleagues and the public who use your service?

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