MLD-620: Innovating in the Public Sector

Semester: Spring

Credit: 1.0


Day Time Location
First Day 1/26
Meet Day M/W 11:40 AM - 1:00 PM L130


The public sector needs innovation in order to improve performance over time, increase responsiveness to changing conditions, and collaborate across boundaries to solve social problems. This course seeks to equip students with the skills necessary to increase the rate and improve the quality of innovations in the public sector. Relying on research and the cumulative record of 25 years of HKS-award winning innovations in government, the course seeks to develop the attitudes and analytic skills that support individuals who aspire to make positive change. We will focus on the dynamics of innovation on three different levels: 1) the innovative individual or team; 2) the innovative organization or jurisdiction; 3) the innovative community or society. A major challenge on all levels is to not just succeed at particular innovations, but to create processes of continuous improvement. The course will rely heavily on case studies of successful innovators and innovations in the public sector. But it will also include simulation exercises and background readings on such topics as creativity, resistance to change, replication and diffusion of innovations, and, most importantly, how to institutionalize a culture of innovation.