Based on samples of 217 of the best applications to the Ford Foundation-Kennedy School of Government innovation awards and 33 of the best applications to the Institute of Public Administration of Canada's management innovation award, both between 1990 and 1994, this article discusses the nature of public management innovation in the United States and Canada. Some of the issues examined are (1) the characteristics of public sector innovations, (2) where in the organization innovations originate, (3) whether innovations come about as a result of planning or groping, (4) the obstacles to change innovators faced and how they overcame them, (5) the results achieved by these innovations, and (6) whether these innovations were replicated. It is found that, despite the difference between congressional and parliamentary government and the different problems being addressed, the patterns of innovation are similar in the two countries. © 2000 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.