The South Australian Public Sector Innovation Lab aims to improve the lives of South Australians by using collaboration to design policies and services that are more efficient and effective for communities.

The Lab takes an outside-in approach to collaboration, bringing together individuals, communities, businesses, not-for-profits, universities, and organisations from State, Local, and Commonwealth government.

Previously part of the Office of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment, the Lab is now part of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet (DPC). It evolved out of the Office’s Change@South Australia program, including the 90 Day Projects.

While the Lab works closely with all of its partners as they collaborate on complex projects, its main focus is on the development of the South Australian Public Sector. Ultimately, the Lab is helping to build a public sector that supports skilful collaboration as a means to greater productivity, innovation, and social and economic growth.

Working with the Lab

The Lab focuses on three areas:

  1. The Problem Space: solving complex problems and realising opportunities through effective collaboration
  2. Building Capability: building successful collaborative skills through project work on actual policy and service issues
  3. The System: establishing and strengthening the systemic conditions for collaboration.

Venn diagram intersecting problem space, capability and system

To make a sustained impact, the Lab works with rather than for participating organisations. In a sense, the Lab is not a consultancy working on outsourced projects, but an enabler working within projects, in close quarters with its partners.

The Problem Space

There are many problems that skilful collaboration can solve or more effectively manage, and many ways the Lab can work with organisations to understand, define, and address those problems.

You can review our case studies to see the type of work that the Lab and its partners conduct. You can also contact the Lab directly.

Building Capability

True collaboration requires people to step away from business as usual and try new ways of working. The Lab sources, develops, and tests these new ways, then uses them in project work with its partners. You can access tools that the Lab uses here.

The System

The Lab helps organisations establish the systemic conditions for collaboration by:

  • Identifying and fostering unexpected opportunities for collaboration to solve problems and share resources.
  • Helping people navigate cultural and structural difficulties, including government bureaucracy, efficiently and effectively.
  • Confronting barriers to collaboration through initiatives that challenge participants and demonstrate what's possible.

Contact

Contact the Lab at innovationlab@sa.gov.au with any queries about our work or suggestions for future projects.