The new cohort of the States of Change learning programme meet for the first time in Melbourne this week. This marks the beginning of a six-month journey where the eight public servant teams will be learning through working on live projects, supported by a local and international learning community to reflect on and rehearse new practices in their daily work.
The States of Change learning programme aims to help public servants challenge business-as-usual approaches to problem-solving and embed innovation practices into government. It does this by supporting new ways of working on and thinking about complex challenges, including exploring problems from new perspectives and testing and iterating possible solutions to quickly learn what works and what doesn’t. The teams also learn essential skills around how to create the right conditions in their organisations for innovation to happen.
Who’s taking part?
There are eight government teams, each with between 4-5 people from a diverse range of departments including health, transport, agriculture and tourism. These are comprised of:
- 4 teams from Queensland
- 2 from Victoria
- 1 from Western Australia
- 1 from New Zealand
Excitingly, two teams also include members from the community organisations that the government departments are working alongside. Our pilot programme last year with the Victorian State Government demonstrated the multiple benefits of working cross-sectorally (read our ‘gatecrashers’ blog here for a first-hand experience of this) and we’re looking forward to exploring further collaborative learning approaches to problem solving beyond silos and sectors.
Each team is working on a real-life project from their department in order to ensure a bias towards practical action, learning through doing and immediate application of the new ways of working and thinking. The projects in this cohort range from transport challenges, community health systems and small business opportunities through to agricultural practices and volunteering uptake.
Building on the pilot programme with Victoria, this new iteration draws together teams from a range of locations across Australia and New Zealand to enable cross-jurisdictional learning and networks in the region.
Who else is involved?
The cohort will be joined throughout by a mix of international and local practitioners who will share their experiences of doing, managing and leading innovation. States of Change faculty who will take part include Cassie Robinson and Andrea Siodmok from Policy Lab in the UK’s Cabinet Office.
What happens next?
The programme kicks off this week with a four-day ‘Induction and Scoping’ session in Melbourne, where the teams will begin scoping their projects and applying new techniques. The teams will then return back to their departments to work ‘in-practice’ for a few weeks - rehearsing what they’ve learned and setting up their team, projects and environment for the programme.
The cohort will reconvene in Brisbane in May for the ‘Exploring and Framing’ session where teams will test out some different perspectives (using the six principles) to help understand their challenge better.
If you’d like to hear more about the Australian & New Zealand programme, get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.