Leadership Centre for local government




Total Place: a practitioner’s guide to
             doing things differently
Contents                                                                                         Introduction
            ...
The compendium is divided
into three main areas:
                                                                         ...
1
Getting your mind around the ‘founding’
theories of the initial Total Place approach
– the ideas that started things out...
Getting past the polarities –                                                                     Culture                 ...
1                                                                                                          5
 Total Place ...
Living systems, adaptive change                                                                          Myron’s maxims: w...
Information, identity, relationships                                                            Looking at the work we do
...
Wicked problems, wicked work                                                                                              ...
Elegant solutions don’t solve wicked problems
 Diverse cultures, diverse solutions                                        ...
Leadership that changes thinking                                                              Changing our thinking


    ...
Public value                                                                                 The strategic triangle


    ...
2
Getting set up, recognising the need
for ‘learning cycles’ as a scaffolding for
Total Place work, and using those cycles...
Different starting points
 Cautionary note: one size does not
 fit all                                                    ...
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
Total place   a practitioner's guide to doing things differently
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Total place a practitioner's guide to doing things differently

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Total place a practitioner's guide to doing things differently

  1. 1. Leadership Centre for local government Total Place: a practitioner’s guide to doing things differently
  2. 2. Contents Introduction The Total Place journey – or there and back again (with apologies to JRR Tolkien) Introduction The Total Place journey – David Bolger or there and back again .............................................3 Guide to the guide ......................................................5 Section 1.0 Understanding systemic change................................6 The Hobbit may not be an obvious starting Starting out ............................................................... 24 Section 2.0 point for a compendium of ideas about Total Section 3.0 Connecting the system to itself ............................... 44 Place. But the quest as a storytelling model Section 4.0 Being human ............................................................. 62 retains extraordinary power even here in the Section 5.0 Using power differently ............................................ 78 sceptical world of the 21st century. Section 6.0 Counting and story-telling........................................ 92 Section 7.0 Thinking differently................................................. 110 In this document, we have gathered the The thirteen Total Place pilots have each wisdom of a number of people who have undertaken a unique journey over the been involved in the Total Place adventure. past nine months or so. It is abundantly Their wisdom ranges widely across clear that there is no single set of rules to theories and models of change, embracing follow and that there is more work to be practical ideas on processes and things undertaken – the story is far from over. to do, and also touching on the inevitable Nevertheless, at this point, it seems right human dimensions of change. to try to gather the experience of the Total In some cases these experiences of the Place pioneers to date; to understand Total Place quest are recounted by the what they have found useful, inspiring and pilots’ programme managers and leads. rewarding in the journeys they have made; Others are insights from Leadership Centre and to offer to those who are embarking advisers who have worked closely on their own quest some modest thoughts with places. on ways of thinking and behaving which may be of help. 2 3
  3. 3. The compendium is divided into three main areas: Guide to the guide THEORIES AND MODELS here we We have broken down our contributors’ pieces into seven briefly summarise, and reference, some of sections, to help you find the most relevant pieces 1 THEORIES AND the models of change etc which Total Place for you at any given time. Those sections are: 1 MODELS practitioners have drawn on; the models are generally well known, researched and documented Understanding systemic change Getting your mind around the ‘founding’ theories of the initial Total Place approach – the ideas that started things out and shaped the first phase. 2 PRACTICE here we capture some very practical ideas which have been used in 2 PRACTICE the various Total Place quests. As with the theories and models, no prescriptions Starting out Getting set up, recognising the need for ‘learning are on offer. Simply a description of cycles’ as a scaffolding for Total Place work, and using those cycles approaches which have been used to to maximise the impact of a piece of Total Place work. 3 move the Total Place idea forward HUMAN IMPLICATIONS here we Connecting the system to itself Linking up people across capture ideas about social interactions your system to generate new ideas and agreements – the power of 3 HUMAN which have proved insightful for Total multi-party conversations. 4 IMPLICATIONS Place practitioners. Being human Recognising the emotional impacts of change on people and the effects of social dynamics on groups and organisations. 5 The compendium is exactly that: It goes without saying, almost, that the a collection of ideas and approaches various authors of this document offer which may be of value to those setting no warranties about the efficacy of their ideas. They offer them humbly, in a spirit Using power differently Neither ignoring nor being out on a Total Place journey. There is of co-operation and shared learning, to overwhelmed by the power hierarchies we work in. 6 no guiding narrative to the pieces here, although there are evident overlaps those who may follow them on the Total and echoes between the ‘chunks’ and Place quest. You must make of them what between individual pieces. The separate you will-and we hope that in time you will Counting and story-telling Using data, stories and pieces are designed to stand alone and be moved to share your own experiences deep dives to find the information that begins to change minds: can be dipped into according to taste. with the growing Total Place community. professional minds, leadership minds and political minds. 7 Each piece has an identified author, with The views expressed in this publication are contact details; and where appropriate, those of the author and do not necessarily references are provided for theories and reflect the views or opinions of the Thinking differently Taking your new information and models quoted. Leadership Centre for Local Government working with it in innovative ways – using new ideas and theories or its staff. and playing with your creativity. 4 5
  4. 4. 1 Getting your mind around the ‘founding’ theories of the initial Total Place approach – the ideas that started things out and shaped the first phase. Section 1 Understanding systemic change Getting past the polarities – an introduction to Total Place . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Total Place – the founding ideas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Living systems, adaptive change . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Information, identity, relationships . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Wicked problems, wicked work. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Diverse cultures, diverse solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Leadership that changes thinking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Public value . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 6 7
  5. 5. Getting past the polarities – Culture Counting an introduction to Total Place Forming cross-agency leadership boards, design Task Conducting high level and detailed ‘Deep Dives’ groups, professional assessing cost against benefit collectives – diverse across the whole public realm groupings of people who and for specific citizens, John Atkinson, Managing director, Leadership Centre do the work together families and target groups for Local Government Participating in customer Customer involvement and insight work Total Place is a ‘both/and’ exercise: places and Citizen – interviews, group sessions, innovation workshops, Whitehall were asked to work together to find ways co-design exercises, ward level conversations of creating better outcomes for citizens at lower cost to the taxpayer. Agencies Whitehall Getting together across Players Joining in counting and This was the first difficult thing for people to So, why do we think Total Place is different sectors to define themes, share design work, facilitating new get their heads around – Total Place is not a from all of these myriad initiatives that have information, create new ideas, policy conversations, acting service improvement initiative nor is it a cost- washed over our bows over the last twenty negotiate implementation as Champions in Whitehall cutting exercise. It is an approach to ‘public years or so? It’s because we think that value’ (more on this later) that includes Total Place is the first time that two crucial both improvement and innovation and a triads have been brought together in a close eye on the value to the citizen being single piece of work. • How do the organisational cultures of leaders meet together with Whitehall generated (or failing to be generated) by agencies in places and departments colleagues as part of theme groups each public service pound that we spend. The task triad: Customers, in Whitehall hamper our ability to and at senior leaders events; agency counting, culture Total Place is also an attempt to bring all of deliver value to the public? Are our professionals and managers have worked The ‘task’ of Total Place has been to attempts to maintain organisational with customers at large system events and the contributors to public value together in consider all three of the key aspects in the sovereignty getting in the way of working via smaller design groups. one place. A lofty ambition! creation of public value: collaboratively to shift society’s most We have a long history of partnership And the choices that working this way • What does the citizen really want from us intransigent problems? initiatives in the public sector, each of create are fundamental and deeply when they are in the role of customer? which has made an impact in shifting us The player triad: Agencies, political. This needs to be recognised Do they really want all the things we towards a more collaborative approach citizens, Whitehall from the outset and welcomed as part of provide or would they rather do much of between agencies. Many individual a reinvigoration of healthy public debate it for themselves? Where they do need And the design of Total Place has been councils, primary car trusts, police forces about what is best for our places and how the support of the public service, are we to create as much connection between and other agencies have also done good best this can be achieved. doing a decent job or driving them half the different players in public value as work with local citizens, involving them in mad with our internal fragmentation and possible. No one agency in a place or So, if you think the leaders of your place community development, service design arcane language? department in Whitehall has dictated the are ready for a ‘both/and’ approach to and outcome setting. Some Whitehall • What really counts in the huge expenditure work. Perhaps more importantly, a great generating public value, Total Place may departments have got closer to their managed by the public sector? How deal of attention has been paid to creating be the approach for you. It’s not about agencies, connecting leaders in places to much bang are we really getting for our cross system forums where very significant everyone getting involved in everything but policy makers around specific initiatives. buck? Is the actual investment in services conversations take place. Whitehall it is about always keeping the whole task to the customer undermined by the cost champions have got involved in places; and all the actors in mind – a complex but of ‘being in business’? place agency leaders and local political rewarding way of working. 8 9
  6. 6. 1 5 Total Place - the founding ideas Myron’s maxims: working with adaptive change Elegant solutions don’t solve wicked problems High • Real change happens in real work Fatalism Hierarchy John Atkinson, Managing director, Leadership Centre • Those who do the work do the change • People own what they create GRID: Rules for Local Government • Start anywhere, go everywhere and Roles Individualism Egalitarianism • Connect the system to more of itself Low High Total Place is a bit different from the usual initiative Source: Myron Rogers Group orientation 2 or centrally orchestrated programme – sometimes Myron Rogers Diverse solutions to unmanageable youths High Fatalists Hierarchists frustratingly so. Structure Identity Meaning There’s nothing we can do. There have been feral young men in every society and on-one knows what to do Stronger discipline is needed: Sanction parents Give police more powers GRID: about them Rules It didn’t come with a programme plan, can only be addressed with messy Individualists Egalitarians and Kids need better life chances: Kids need more support: Roles Offer incentives to stay Provide mentors toolkit or defined outcomes – no set of (not elegantly simple) solutions in school Give rewards for good Create opportunities for community contribution instructions to follow. But it did come with (Wicked problems, wicked solutions) behaviour Low High a, largely unspoken, body of theory behind 4. If we want to address those wicked Systems Policy Information Relationships Action Trust Group orientation: Belonging and meaning it, theory that informed the design and that problems we must be willing to adapt has informed the day to day decisions of our thinking, and it is a key role of Source: Myron Rogers Adapted from the work of Mary Douglas the Leadership Centre for Local leadership to help ourselves and others 3 6 Government and the High Level Officials’ to think new thoughts (Leadership that The strategic triangle Group responsible for steering the work What kind of problem is it? changes thinking) through Whitehall. We thought it would be 5. Different individuals have different Do you know how to solve this problem? The Authorising Enviroment helpful for places who are wanting to overarching cultural theories about embark on Total Place work to have some Yes No Public Value Outcomes how human systems work – all of Strategic Goals understanding of those theories, whether those theories have value in building Is it a crisis? Does anyone know to solve this? they want to use them in their work or not! messy solutions (Diverse viewpoints, Each of the founding ideas outlined below diverse solutions) Yes No Yes No is dealt with in more depth in one of the 6. If we focus only on ‘service Critical problem Wicked problem Tame problem following pieces in this section. improvement’ or on ‘cost cutting’, Act as a commander Be decisive Act as a manager Use S.O.Ps Act as a leader Ask questions and use Operational Capacity Provide answers clumsy solutions 1. Human communities and organisations we get further and further away from are not machines, they are living, understanding the true value of public Sourced from Professor Keith Grint, Warwick Business School Source: Mark Moore adapting systems so we need work for the public we are trying to 4 approaches to change that recognise serve (Public value) Changing our thinking Please see the following pages for this fact (Living systems, adaptive full details: As you read through this guide to Total Unproductive fantasy change) Denial Place, you will spot each of these founding 1 Living systems, adaptive 2. Our leadership attention is best spent Unrealistic ideas popping up over and over again, Not enough change ........................................ page 12 Sense of by considering the information that Existing Map sometimes overtly, sometimes in disguise. Experimentation Realistic Sense of Tension Just right 2 Information, identity, shapes the system, the identity relationships ............................... page 14 the system is creating for itself and And, as you consider your own local Total New map Loosening Map 3 Wicked problems, wicked work.... page 16 the relationships that uphold the work. Place exercise, you may want to think 4 Leadership that changes which of these founding ideas you find Sufficient Sense of thinking ....................................... page 20 (Information, identity, relationships) Safety Thought Experiments 5 Diverse cultures, diverse 3. The long standing and remarkably useful and how you might incorporate None Sense of Positive Future Just right Not enough solutions ..................................... page 18 resilient problems now faced by our them in your own work. Despair Panic 6 Public value ................................ page 22 society are ‘wicked problems’ that Adapted from Kurt Lewin 10 11
  7. 7. Living systems, adaptive change Myron’s maxims: working with adaptive change John Atkinson, Managing director, Leadership Centre • Real change happens in real work for Local Government • Those who do the work do the change • People own what they create One of the central ideas of Total Place is that the • Start anywhere, go everywhere long-standing machine metaphor of organisation • Connect the system to more of itself and social systems is handicapping our ability to understand the environment we work in and how to change the behaviours of those systems. Source: Myron Rogers By the machine metaphor, we mean a In his work with the Leadership Centre on • Self organisation: social systems • As over-arching issues started to emerge view of the social and organisational world our Leeds Castle Leadership Programme, preserve their identity. Once a group or (especially on the relationship between that assumes that people are passive Myron describes his view of the five major organisation has formed a loyalty, people places and national Government), actors who take instructions and carry characteristics of living systems: will act to hold on to the identity they new spaces were made to have those them out, that there are ‘levers of power’ • Chaos and complexity: complex have created. discussions rather than them being that can be pulled somewhere that will systems are characterised by ambiguity, declared ‘out of scope’ change behaviour and that setting a target Myron’s five maxims for working with living • Many opportunities were created to uncertainty and unexpected connections. will completely drive an intended change. systems are shown in the box above. connect previously unconnected bits of Order arises from chaotic and unmanaged The last twenty years of attempted public Perhaps you can see how the initial design the system – e.g. professionals in places micro-interactions, rather than because of service reform shows us that, while small of Total Place reflected these ideas: with policy makers in Whitehall, leaders some design from on high. positive changes have been made, the • Emergence: living systems seem chaotic • Places were asked to do real work rather in one area to leaders from another, front outcomes for individual citizens have not and unpredictable but their patterns are than just ‘set up a partnership’ – to find line professionals with financial analysts, altered to the extent that the machine created by simple underlying rules which a theme, actively diagnose the issues middle managers with citizens metaphor would have had us hope. are not usually apparent to the actors. and create some innovative potential interventions As you begin, or continue, to work on So, during the design and initiation phase • Cognition: no one person can ever your Total Place exercises, you may want of Total Place, we turned to the work ‘see the system’. Each person will have • Senior leaders were asked to get actively involved in the work (politicians, agency to consider how you can use these ideas of those theorists and educators who a different perspective depending on in your work to experiment with their emphasise a completely different lens for their place in the system and what they leaders and colleagues in Whitehall) rather than delegating to others to do power – perhaps the machine metaphor looking at human activity – that of the living see determines what they do. will begin to have had its day! system (sometimes known as complex the change for them • Networks: people are strongly linked adaptive systems theory). There are now by their informal ties and by the stories • Places were encouraged to work closely many writers who work with these ideas they tell. If the ‘official line’ does not fit with front-line staff and citizens rather but the person who has most influenced with the lived reality of players, they will than just consulting them once the work our work is Myron Rogers. ignore or subvert it. was done – to move gently towards co-creation 12 13
  8. 8. Information, identity, relationships Looking at the work we do John Atkinson, Managing director, Leadership Centre Structure Identity Meaning for Local Government Much has been made of Total Place as a whole systems intervention. Working with whole systems is now increasingly listed in government literature as being a key requirement of effective leadership. Systems Policy Information Relationships Action Trust The term however, is exceptionally vague. beliefs and the emotional responses they Source: Myron Rogers Some people can list over forty different bring to each other and their work. philosophies that might constitute a whole Myron suggests we should spend our systems approach. Total Place has tried to leadership attention on identity, information betterment of Total Place. There has been remain pragmatic in the face of all of this and relationships. That this creates an At the same time, getting new information no substitute in Total Place for racking up and has plotted a course through the work environment of trust, which in turn ensures into our discussion has been critical. The the travel miles and the mobile bill. that is mindful of the theory, but rooted in we address the appropriate rather than most important source of this has been everyday experience. So one element of Total Place is the historical actions and that together this will the citizen. Raising the profile of people’s requirement to move away from the Myron Rogers has worked with whole make work in the public service altogether stories about engaging with the state comfort of policy, structures and systems systems for decades and has worked more meaningful for those involved. brings different perspectives. Put this and into a vaguer but more purposeful with repeated cohorts of the Leeds Castle alongside the wealth of data from the I have interpreted the issue of identity as world that asks more difficult questions. Leadership Programme. He suggests a deep dives about how we really provide determining who we mean when we say • Who are the people that we really need way of looking at the work we do along the services and the cost of this, then the ‘we’ and what it is that ‘we’ are trying to together to solve the problems we face? lines of the diagram opposite. conversations we have about what we do. In Total Place, we have made new • What do we collectively know that we could (and ought) to do become different. Our time is primarily spent in the first connections between Whitehall and can use to move us forward? three circles. We focus our activity on the places, across different areas of local Through Total Place, people have made • How can we forge new and stronger structures necessary to get our work done, geography and between the state and new relationships and strengthened old connections with the people we need the policies that we wish to pursue and the citizens. This focus on a different ‘we’ ones. The quality and quantity of these to in order to deliver altogether better systems or mechanisms by which we do creates a new identity and allows us relationships directly impacts on our ability services in a time of tough financial this. While these are useful pursuits, they new possibilities. The variety of different to get things done. One senior civil servant constraint? fail to significantly address the important meetings, workshops and forums and describes me as judiciously using the dynamic at play. Our work takes place the growth of the online communities of car-park, train station, late-night mobile You can read more about Myron’s with people, human beings, with all their practice and other ‘e’-processes have all phone call to cajole, dragoon, seduce ideas in the book: ‘A Simpler Way’, capacity for creativity, their prejudices and helped to build a sense of identity around or otherwise persuade an accountable Myron Rogers and Margaret Wheatley, the work. individual to do something useful for the Berrett-Koehler, 2002. 14 15
  9. 9. Wicked problems, wicked work What kind of problem is it? David Bolger, Leadership Centre adviser Do you know how to solve this problem? Yes No Situational Leadership is a term, and model, devised by Hersey and Blanchard, and identified four main Is it a crisis? Does anyone know to solve this? styles for leaders which they could adopt according to the capacity of their teams. These modes are: Yes No Yes No directing; coaching; supporting and delegating. Details can be found in Blanchard’s • Wicked, where the challenge is either Critical problem Tame problem Wicked problem ‘Leadership and the One Minute Manager’. wholly novel or perhaps is long-standing, Act as a commander Act as a manager Act as a leader In recent years, Professor Keith Grint, now proving impervious to previous efforts to Be decisive Use standard Ask questions and use of Warwick Business School, has linked the resolve it - teenage pregnancies might Provide answers operationg procedures clumsy solutions idea of adaptive leadership approaches to be an example, or long term addictions the work of Rittell and Webber on so-called to alcohol or drugs ‘wicked problems’. Sourced from Professor Keith Grint, Warwick Business School Proponents of a contextual leadership There are two dimensions to consider: the approach might argue that the role of leadership challenge which is presenting; a leader is, first, to identify the nature • For wicked problems, leadership But beware of two things. First, problems and the leadership approach which is of the challenge, and then to adopt the is required - if we’ve never seen this will not necessarily present simply. They adopted to deal with the challenge. On appropriate leadership response. The problem before, and command and may combine facets of critical, tame and the leadership challenge, the Rittell and corresponding leadership styles can be control or management don’t seem to wicked. Second, there is also evidence Webber work suggests that challenges, or described as follows: work, then we need to look for new to show that leaders have preferred problems, fall into three broad categories solutions; this also holds true if it’s an leadership approaches. For example, some • For critical problems, command and • Critical, where the challenge is evident old, intractable problem. We need to find leaders relish crises and the chance to control is the necessary response- and immediate- a fire might be an new ways of thinking and talking about give some command and control orders; you don’t expect your leader to form a example the issue; and we may have to accept some leaders prefer to manage, to defuse committee if there’s a fire; you expect to • Tame, where the challenge is well that it is not actually soluble, only that we the drama of crises but also to avoid be told what to do, quickly and clearly understood, and where procedures can make slow, experimental progress genuinely complex and intractable wicked • For tame problems, management is or limit the damage. issues; and there are yet others for whom have been developed and proven in called for - what do we already know practice, even if the challenge is pretty everything is a wicked problem, requiring about how to deal with this issue? What extensive and never-ending analysis and complicated-brain surgery might be an are the procedures? Let’s do that: we example consultation. know it’s going to work You can read more about Keith’s work in the book: ‘Leadership: Limits and Possibilities’, Palgrave MacMillan (2005) 16 17
  10. 10. Elegant solutions don’t solve wicked problems Diverse cultures, diverse solutions High Fatalism Hierarchy Karen Ellis, Leadership Centre adviser GRID: Rules and One of the things that quickly becomes apparent to Roles any observer of a Total Place conversation is that Individualism Egalitarianism different individuals are operating from very different core assumptions when it comes to their view of Low High Group orientation social change. Diverse solutions to unmanageable youths This is not new news! During the 1950s, • From the individualist: “I’ll send the High a superb social scientist named Mary experts off to design some solutions, try Fatalists Hierarchists Douglas began to notice the same thing. them all out on a small scale and I’ll do a There’s nothing we can do. Stronger discipline is needed: Fundamentally, she noticed that when ‘Dragon’s Den’ to choose between them” There have been feral young Sanction parents men in every society and Give police more powers people are in groups, their behaviour seems • From the hierarchist: “we, the leaders, on-one knows what to do to be driven by where they sit (usually will set the criteria and you, the workers, GRID: about them unconsciously) on each of two spectra : will work together and come back to us Rules Individualists and Egalitarians • Do they enjoy and support formal rules with your proposals” Kids need better life chances: Kids need more support: Roles and roles or do they prefer to make up • From the egalitarian: “we will call Offer incentives to stay Provide mentors in school Create opportunities for their own rules? together all the people who have a stake Give rewards for good community contribution • Do they like to feel part of a group or in the issue and run a collaborative event behaviour do they prefer to stay independent and to design the solution together” Low High work alone? • From the fatalist: “whatever I do, it Group orientation: will be subsumed by business-as-usual, Belonging and meaning She called these two dimensions ‘Grid’ and so I will put the minimum effort in to tick ‘Group’ and created the two-by-two matrix your box”. Adapted from the work of Mary Douglas of ‘Cultural Types’ shown opposite. Of course, none of us is a pure type but most You may see some of your own behaviour than the single viewpoint elegant solutions [Keith doesn’t say this but I feel bound to of us would admit that there is at least one in the descriptions above! that each type would instinctively prefer. defend fatalists as I think they have a lot box that we prefer on most occasions and So why does this social science theory of realism to offer!] certainly one that we don’t like at all! matter in Total Place? Professor Keith In the process of building messy solutions: Grint has applied Mary’s ideas to the • Individualists are good at innovation and In your Total Place process, you will get So when we get together in working issue of wicked problems. He proposes protecting independence much further if you ensure that all of the groups to discuss social or organisational that the best solutions to long-standing • Hierarchists are good at decision making types have a voice in your work – after all, change, these cultural differences start social issues recognise all four of these and setting up structures they will all have to be part of the solution… to show up. Unless, of course, our group is subject to group-think. The differences cultural types. He says that each type • Egalitarians are good at consensual You can read more about Mary’s appear not just in thinking about what has something to offer to the process of process and recognising everyone’s needs work in the book: ‘Risk and Culture’, change we’d like to see (as in my ‘hoody’ identifying and thinking about what he • Fatalists are good at reminding people Mary Douglas and Aaron Wildavsky, example opposite) but also in the process calls messy solutions – solutions that we’ve been here before and that this University of California Press, 1983 we’d like to use to find a solution: are much more sustainable in the long run may be as good as it gets. 18 19
  11. 11. Leadership that changes thinking Changing our thinking Unproductive fantasy Denial Karen Ellis, Leadership Centre adviser Unrealistic Not enough Sense of Existing map experimentation Realistic Sense of During the middle part of the 20th Century, Kurt Lewin tension Just right attempted to look at the actual phenomena of personal or social change without adding in ideas of what was New map Loosening map good or bad, useful or non-useful. Lewin made the distinction between 1. There is a growing sense of discomfort Sufficient Sense of safety learning as a change in knowledge and with existing knowledge, mindset learning as a change in motivations or or espoused values – data is coming Thought experiments Sense of Just right values – the one does not assume the in that suggest that the ‘mental map’ None positive future Not enough other. So, it’s important that we note that is no longer a good fit with reality. knowledge on its own does not create 2. If this tension is sufficient, people Despair Panic change nor is ‘wanting to be different’ start to question the existing mental sufficient to actually be different if people map and, instead of looking for data don’t have the relevant knowledge or skills to support it, they actively seek out Adapted from Kurt Lewin to make the shift. new information. How might this process of change work – 3. Then, if they feel safe enough to let go either at the cognitive or motivational level? of their map, they start to run some The diagram maps some of Lewin’s ideas ‘thought experiments’ about other Someone who wants to lead in Total • Sponsor the search for new models and into a set of feedback processes that can ways of looking at the issue and they Place, at whatever level, has to be ideas, even when they are contrary to be applied at the level of the individual, talk to others about their maps on the prepared to offer themselves and others perceived wisdom group or social system. The steps to subject and find a whole new set of the opportunity to make changes to their • Begin to paint in a positive vision for the changing thinking run something like this: options for thinking about the issue. thinking or their values. What can a leader future – even when it feels far away and 4. If they have a sense that there is a usefully do? They can: the path isn’t obvious positive potential future if they change • Create opportunities to closely examine • Allow time for hypothesising, “There are many leaders whose to a new way of doing things, they will disconfirming data and controversial experimentation and validation rather personal style runs directly counter to find creative ways to implement the viewpoints and point out those points than rushing prematurely for results. these strategies, and many pressures in the political and public service new map, developing the skills they where individuals or groups start to drift systems that push for the opposite need as they go. You can learn more about Kurt’s work in off towards denial behaviour. But, to paraphrase the old the book ‘Field Theory in Social Science • Create a sense of safety – “we are all in – Selected Theoretical Papers’, Harper adage ‘If you keep leading the way that you’ve always done, you’ll keep this together, you are OK to raise difficult and Row 1964 getting what you always get’!” conversations, you won’t be punished Karen Ellis for not getting it right first time” 20 21
  12. 12. Public value The strategic triangle The Authorising Enviroment David Bolger, Leadership Centre adviser Public Value Outcomes Strategic Goals Public value is a concept developed by Professor Mark Moore of the JFK School of Government at Harvard in the 1990s. The key reference work is ‘Creating Public Value-Strategic Management in Government’ Harvard University Press, 1995. Moore has since developed a working and • The definition of public value – publishing relationship with Professor John this is not simply the description Operational Capacity Benington of Warwick University Business of the outputs of a public policy School, so there is opportunity for direct intervention, but also of the value contact with the theorists on this model. perceived both by direct recipients of those outputs but also critically of Source: Mark Moore Moore developed the model as a way of other, non-recipient stakeholders. So dealing with the absence of a ‘bottom line’ for example, libraries provide a direct for public organisations. He wanted to public value to borrowers of books etc; be authorised to pursue it. Hence The public value model is typically illustrated help public service policy makers and but they also satisfy a value perception politicians form part of this authorising by the 3 circles above. These are said practitioners to demonstrate the value they among non-borrowers (but funders, environment, as well as being decision- to form the strategic triangle (apologies to were striving to create using the as taxpayers) that their community makers on which definition of public geometric purists). Moore postulates that investment of public monies. He also provides opportunities for disadvantaged value is being pursued there will always be tension between the wanted to move away from the traditional members of society to learn • The operational capacity – these are elements of the model-the definition of sterile model of ‘public administration’ • The authorising environment – this the resources of money and people, public value must constantly be checked in which public servants are passive includes all those who have an interest typically, which may be deployed in out with the authorising environment, and recipients of politically driven goals; and in, and the ability to influence, a public pursuit of a public policy goal. This is operational capacity aligned accordingly- to show that public servants are not mere policy issue. The idea of the authorising normally the resources of the public and that it is the role of public policy deliverers of ‘public value’, but also key environment is that those involved body or bodies engaged in delivering practitioners to maintain the strategic co-creators with citizens and with their provide legitimacy and support for the the relevant public policy ambitions, but alignment of the model elements through political representatives. definition of public value which is being may also include a wider resource pool ever-vigilant attention to each of the circles. In essence, the public value model sought and for the resources approved including the capacity of society and proposes that there are three core to deliver it: while the environment its individual members. Here, Moore dimensions to the creation and delivery supports the definition, resources will develops ideas on co-design and of public policy: co-production 22 23
  13. 13. 2 Getting set up, recognising the need for ‘learning cycles’ as a scaffolding for Total Place work, and using those cycles to maximise the impact of a piece of Total Place work. Section 2 Starting out Cautionary note: one size does not fit all . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Planning the first cycle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Messy learning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Gathering everyone in . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Managing the dynamics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Designing the process – getting the rhythm right!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Paying attention to emergence – the power of simple rules . . . . . . . . 38 Roles and responsibilities. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Overcoming the power of the day job. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 24 25
  14. 14. Different starting points Cautionary note: one size does not fit all Unitary Fraught County Multi-area Karen Ellis, Leadership Centre adviser None Positive History of working together Geographic reach Total Place sponsors, programme managers and advisers have been asked many questions. The most Broad Public facing Specific groups popular (and difficult) being, “What is this Total Place General Back office thing anyway?” There is already something political Tight Multi-theme access Theme focus (1) Theme focus (2) (small ‘p’) in the way each person answers. We tend to focus on those aspects of start points inevitably lead to differences in Total Place that suit our perspectives or how the work shows up in that place and the Different initial approaches passions and ‘forget’ the other aspects. pre-judgements that players and the public Central If you’re outside the existing Total Place have about work of this sort. Some places individual community, this diversity of view can have an excellent history of working together seem bewildering. across agencies; others have had bad Small Radical Pragmatic relationships in the past or are just starting Diffused But there has (deliberately) never been a group out as a new geographic mix. They all have well defined party line on what Total Place Leadership sponsorship ‘Feel’ different demographics, social strengths, actually is. The whole idea was to set up problem areas and economic situations. Service an environment for innovation, where Front-liners change Innovation each place had the chance to define its Some of the differences that have shown own thematic thrust and specific approach up between the places are around: Public ‘Pre-thought’ within a set of broad parameters. • Type and level of sponsorship Power players Efficiences and users improvement A one-size-fits-all methodology would have • Approach to involvement Focus of initial involvement Starting emphasis been inappropriate, due to the significant • Level of innovation and radicalism differences in starting point and approach across the 13 pilots. Probably the most heated discussions arising from the question, “what is Total Place • Are we willing to start tackling contentious We’re not advocating where places should This diversity has given us a unique anyway?” centre around the degree of issues like state-sponsored (mandated?) stand on these questions. More radical opportunity to look at what works radicalism and innovation that each place behaviour change among citizens when options, by definition, contain more risk (and what doesn’t) in terms of innovation wants to pursue. Are they content to do what we know that any such approach will get and the leaders in each place will have to and change in the civic arena. It also they’ve done before, with some nice new labelled intrusion of the nanny state? decide what they can handle locally. helps us to look at which type of approach language? Or are they looking to truly change Acknowledging the diversity of approach • Are we willing to shift the funding works best, in which settings, and for what how they do things and what they do? and building it into the work on Total Place focus from managing symptoms to sort of problems. has helped some to find radical new • Are the power players willing to work prevention of the causes of problems Across the 13 places there’s been a very with the public and service users in a when the media will jump on us from solutions to local services, more tailored heterogeneous mix of geographical areas, new way when those conversations are a great height whenever our symptom to local needs. histories and chosen themes. These unique usually messy and often embarrassing? management fails? 26 27

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