Norway’s leaders recognise there is room for improvement in experimentation.
Norway’s civil service is not as positive about its responsiveness as the other Nordic countries in our survey. Its scores put it somewhere in the middle of the nine-country pack on almost all categories, except for willingness to consider new ideas and experiment – where it came bottom.
Seven in ten Norwegian leaders said that their organisation excels at learning and responding rapidly to meet evolving citizen and end-user needs. But they were the least confident of any country about their ability to design and deliver services in new ways, and least certain that their organisation is committed to constantly adapting policies and services based on learning from success and failure.
They were rather more confident that being able to adapt to long-term change is part of their long-term strategy (100% agreement, with 50% in strong agreement) and that they proactively seek to respond to changing stakeholder needs (100% agreement). Their Covid response was also positive, with 80% agreeing that adapting to change has helped to develop significant capabilities that were not present three years ago prior to the Covid pandemic.
Six in ten Norwegians agreed that there is little unnecessary bureaucracy in their organisation, although half as many said there are very few barriers in place to deploying solutions quickly. Sixty per cent were confident that they can quickly allocate budget and resources to priorities.
Norwegians were more confident about their deployment of technology in delivering the business of government than in the development of their human resources.
Seven in ten agreed that digital technologies are fully embedded in processes and eight in 10 that the technology they require is available to them when they need it. However, only 40% said they proactively bring together a group of people with sufficiently diverse skills, disciplines and approaches to solve problems and 50% agreed that staff are deliberately introduced to new initiatives and their competencies stretched to develop them.
Seventy per cent of participants agreed that decision-making is always based on evidence and that data can be quickly sourced but slightly fewer – 60% – said citizen and end-user input is used to form policy and solutions.
Norway’s leaders recognise there is room to improve experimentation in their organisation: only four in ten agreed it gives people dedicated time to pursue new ideas and solutions and that staff are rewarded for pursuing opportunities for positive change, even if there is risk of failure.
Only 30% agreed that all ideas and innovations are equally considered, regardless of seniority level, and just 10% said that experimentation is made possible and proactively encouraged (Fig 30).