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INNOVATION what do we do? who does it? and why is it important?

re-ordered account of responses to our questionnaire - now organised into three main areas

Cloud created by:

Bill Law
8 September 2009

The three mains areas are:

  • establishing a presence - so that people know who we are and what we represent;
  • maintaining a community of interests - so that we are clear with each other and our users about why innovation is important; 
  • supporting innovation - so that useful tools, resources and processes are made visible to the field.

most of the responses belong to these areas of development

some (italicised) raise more general issues

1.         we establish a presence...

…   by forming a register of organisations willing to sign up to supporting innovation - ideas for action here include:

largely met - with in-built review;

crucial - central - already under way;

 already started – needs development and expansion;

 an idea of ‘circles of interaction or commitment’;

 not too large and not FEDPAG, etc. – not representative of any particular organisations (but sectors, yes) - focused on innovation - avoiding danger of rehashing some areas of research that have been around forever;

 a lot of innovation related to guidance will not be delivered by ‘guidance practitioners’ - so the register is only part of the picture - how, then, to be inclusive and engage a broader group;


…   by setting up a mediated rapid-response facility to queries about the field - ideas for action here include:

 very important that we contribute to the variety of consultation processes and government initiatives - from an informed wealth of practitioner and research base - raise the game and the profile;

 the network to be in a position to respond quickly to issues, ideas and opportunities;

 see AGR - get media coverage (is it PR – no) - ‘ask-iCeGS’ information service can support an element of this giving a foundation for informed responses building on our information bank;

 possibly the role of the professional organisations, but the ‘evidence’ would suggest this is not achieved adequately - although difficult, its difficulty needs to be worked on - but would a set of statements be fit for general purpose – the ‘rapid’ requires something already agreed, or agreed for this question, at this time;

 need to develop further as an organisation before thinking of taking this on;

 later - once other priorities are better developed;

 implications for resources here - need to be addressed before this can happen;

 eventually would be powerful and unprecedented.

…   by securing funding streams to support innovative policies and practices - ideas for action here include:

 to springboard this group into taking forward on a joint innovation project - to enable relationships within the group to develop;

 innovation in action research - competitive-collaborative dynamic is interesting - new funding would be valuable way to support the group - additional action to support mutual learning;

 look at how this might help us mature as a group;

 requires an agreed project resulting from the discussion - or identified themes – could be a newly created project or support for a concept or small project already at the initial stage;

 we are not quite ready for this yet - it is an aspiration and maybe present work helps prepare us for this;

 needs to be down the line - once we have some ideas and projects to bid for;

 need idea before asking for money;

 how would this work?


have misunderstood the group - seems to be about generating ideas to find money - thought it was about understanding ‘what works’, ‘what doesn’t’, ‘what can we change’, ‘what do others want to do with the service’, ‘how are we going to respond?’.


this is a critical time for careers guidance - not sure we have the base from which we can respond to the challenges - we are too slow to give a coherent approach about what difference we can make - we need to talk and ‘play’ games.

And so:

what? - a website that tells what career guidance does;  where? - our website.  why? - because it is not easy to find the question’s answers; who? - people who are committed to the profession and wanting continually to improve it.

2.         we maintain a community of interests...

…   by providing a meeting place for ‘space to talk’ about changing nature of careers work & ideas for development - ideas for action here include:

 essential to us developing - need to agree to meet virtually to really get our ideas going;

 virtual-website - and real-world meeting;

 closely linked to sharing ideas on r&d work - needs a forum on internal and external communication - Including ‘safe space to think’;

 important, but must be more than a ‘talking shop’ - group needs a clear sense we are working towards a tangible outcome or outcomes - now developing;

 HECSU-PROP model – excellent structure;


…   by setting up a communication channel for sharing ideas and linking R&D work - ideas for action here include:

 of course;

 priority to communicate between meetings - effectively to highlight and disseminate new ideas and ways of working;

 discussions around the themes - where group agrees action to come -from themes to focus on a specific topic or potential project;

 need a period during which the group learns how to use the technology and interact with each other;

 key - across media: face to face and virtual - needs some common point to guarantee it - need to have actual ideas which we work on;



3.         we support innovative development...

…            by creating a web-portal showcasing innovation work - ideas for action here include:

 important aim – but needs a sub-group to take it forward;

 infrastructure in place - but how will ‘innovative’ be defined? - and located?;

 NGRF, EGCRF and iCeGS have a wealth of info - need to avoid duplication  - but to signpost;

 what about ownership – are we clear about this yet? – concepts, ideas, tools, evidence of ‘models’ for practice - web access? ‘yes!’ – but what about the level of detail of the work?



to come up with new ideas - pushing and forcing ideas will help us progress the profession - it seems we (the service and professions) are too conservative and unwilling to take risks.

assembled by Bill






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