Beyond the 3 R's - investigating barriers to innovation in local government
Australian local government stands at a pivotal point in its evolution, as it seeks to respond to impending challenges and long-standing, "wicked" problems. Paradoxically, at the same time as shifting boundaries between federal, state and local governance provide new opportunities for local government and local communities, local councils are facing a crisis of confidence in terms of relevance, capacity and community trust. The pressure is on for local government to reinvent itself for the 21st century, but a variety of internal and external factors impact on its capacity to do so. This paper documents the beginning phases of a study of the phenomena that impede innovation by and within local government, in particular innovative practice in relation to local government paradigms and processes. The presenter, who works in local government, is seeking to identify the points in the innovation cycle at which the intent for innovative practice fails to deliver innovative outcomes and to explain how organisational attributes, community characteristics, governance and legislated delegation, limit the capacity of local government authorities to innovate.