What problem are we trying to solve?
Public services are complex but most solutions to the challenges that public sector leaders face do not appropriately reflect this reality. Linear solutions are offered to resolve complicated problems. But in complex systems, traditional approaches often fail.
The consequences of poorly defined problems are profound and widespread
Linear solutions often show early promise; but as they are working within complex systems, they are often unable to adapt to changing requirements or are too fragile to withstand external shocks. This leads to bad, expensive and unsustainable outcomes.
Why do public sector leaders and their consultants continue to frame problems narrowly?
Most forces affecting the public sector reduce the space for system leaders to act. With limited bandwidth and few reliable tools on offer, many frame their problems too narrowly and therefore find that their options are constrained.
Leaders embracing complexity need a different approach to make change happen on the ground
Public sector leaders who embrace the complexity of their systems and set a greater ambition for improvement need to change their own approach to leadership. They must work across boundaries in new ways, ensuring that they have the right tools to deliver impact at the front line.
A different type of support is required to help leaders seize the complexity opportunity
There are huge opportunities to save money and improve outcomes for public sector leaders who look beyond the boundaries and embrace the complexity of their systems. Seizing these opportunities requires a different type of support.
A completely different type of support requires a completely different type of consultancy
Working in complex environments challenges both public sector leaders and consultancies profoundly. Traditional methods and business assumptions no longer hold and new skills and methods are needed. It requires a new business model.
You have read the briefings from the big firms, the newest airport management tome and the latest copy of Harvard Business Review. You’ve just read The EDGEWORK Manifesto. You know this all makes sense and have decided to act.
What now? We offer a seven-step action plan.
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