Socitm says big bonuses to council staff may be needed to fuel innovation

Council IT managers association Socitm says public sector organisations should consider doling out big bonuses to staff in return for the innovations they produce.

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Council IT managers association Socitm says public sector organisations should consider doling out big bonuses to staff in return for the innovations they produce.

"Why should local public services not reward individuals or teams, whose innovations may save millions of pounds for their organisation, with, say, 10 percent of the value from what they have created?" asks Socitm in a report.

The "Conditions for successful innovation" report is about "creating environments within which innovation might flourish". It says that adopting private sector practice, in which successful innovation "is rewarded by wealth handed out to its owners and stakeholders", would provide "essential motivational carrots".

Such a move, says the report, would "also overcome the obvious personal, organisational and public value self-limiting barrier" that it says operates in public services, with staff asking themselves, "Why should I innovate myself and my team out of job to the benefit of the others who will remain?"

If a suitable rewards regime could be constructed, says the report, then the pace and depth of innovation would "likely be far higher than at present". It says co-production in public service delivery would also "grow rapidly", as would partnerships with "highly motivated and engaged individual citizen entrepreneurs" and other economic sectors.

A "digital technological revolution promises much scope for innovation", the report maintains, which includes seven case studies of innovation at local authorities and police forces.