Public sector managers are under increasing pressure to deliver better services, matching the pace of improvement in the business world. But at the same time, public sector budgets are under strain. In this demanding environment, public sector managers need to be able to do more with the same resources. But despite government reforms of recent years, there are still significant barriers to improved performance. The public sector is often slow to learn the lessons of good practice and of service failures, and to take on new roles. It is too concerned with outputs rather than socially valuable outcomes. This paper argues that these problems can be faced and overcome. The public sector has many people and organizations with the skills and attitude to become civic entrepreneurs, developing a vision of improved public services and harnessing new ideas and new partners to develop innovative solutions to local problems. The authors analyze few remarkable case studies of how public services can be revitalized through this entrepreneurial approach to complex problems, leading to dramatically better outcomes for citizens and service providers alike. The case studies, which cover education, policing, health services and local government, build up a powerful and inspirational case for new policies to harness the energies of civic entrepreneurship throughout the public sector.
How to get something from nothing
They are represent a new breed of social entrepreneur. These social entrepreneurs are creating innovative ways of tackling some of our most pressing and intractable social problems: They take under-utilised and often discarded resources – people and buildings – and re-energise them by finding new ways to use them to satisfy unmet and often unrecognised needs. The organisations that form the core of this report run inspiring, transformatory projects. Their potential and significance extends well beyond their particular...