Filed under: event, Public Sector Design, Transformation Design | Tags: cocreation, codesign, coproduction, design, event, london, nesta, servicedesign
Last week, I found time to go to the NESTA Right here Right now Launch: Taking Coproduction into the mainstream. The event, focusing on taking coproduction as a marginal idea into the mainstream is the third of a three part series of reports from a collaboration between the New Economics Foundation and Nesta.
Re-reading NEF’s coproduction pamphlet, published two years ago I was struck by Edgar Cahn’s words on the term being hot on the lips of politicians, on both sides of the atlantic. Now more than ever, with our ‘big society’ and having to do ‘more for less’ it’s time to push Co-production in the mainstream. If you’re not sure what Coproduction is I suggest mulling over the three Nesta reports but for a summary of it’s inception;
“The term ‘co-production’ was coined originally at the University of Indiana in the 1970s when Professor Elinor Ostrom was asked to explain to the Chicago police why the crime rate went up when the police came off the beat and into patrol cars. She used the term as a way of explaining why the police need the community as much as the community need the police.”
Going back to Nef’s publication, this is a stand out for me;
“Neither markets nor centralised bureaucracies are effective models for delivering public services based on relationships. The author of System Failure, Jake Chapman, explains why, with market systems, ‘you can deliver pizza but you can’t deliver public services’. Market logic applies to narrow deliverables, but misses out the crucial dimension that allows doctors to heal, teachers to teach and carers to care: the relationship with patient, pupil or client. Centralised bureaucracies, public and private, find it equally hard to grasp these essentials.”
Following the discussion after the launch of the final Nesta Paper, the above quote from 2008 is very poignant. Designers ask three questions. What, how and why and what I’m experiencing from many of these co-design publications is people asking the how?
I often see elements of design as the process to drive this ideology. To me, the design process seems like the glue that will hold these together, and as a way of driving a co-production manifesto.
The question and answer session showed that this how question is where we get stuck. Garath Symonds who works at Surrey County Council sat on the panel as someone who has pushed this way of working on a local level. Questions were fired at him and his reply was,
“Just do it”
If the audience could have clapped, I feel there may have been a small ripple of applause. Gareth was someone that takes risks and gets this. I have always seen so many parallels between what I’ve done as a service designer and coproduction. Putting users (n.b users also mean staff) at the centre of service design and delivery. The mindset of co-creation (often seen in work I’ve been part of) as a vehicle to develop services and push towards co-production. Co-production is not just a design process and I would never say design is the panacea, but I believe expert facilitation attributed with a design process and involving different experts and frameworks at different stages, would be a good way of driving this process. I’ve seen services and social enterprises produced by designers that embody much of what co-production is about and reach a stage of dellivery. I’ll talk about some other points but Nick Marsh of Sidekick picked up on a great ‘that’s a thing’ point about the dependency of users on public services.
The publication had quite a few recommendations for taking co-production into the main stream.
1. Build the key features of co-production into existing services
2. Change the systems and structures that underpin public services
3. Make it everybody’s business
4. Shift the role of frontline staff
5. Get the best out of ‘personalised’ services
6. Put the right incentives in place
7. Build co-production into the commissioning framework
8. Give priority to prevention
9. Encourage flexibility and collaborative working
10. Measure what matters
11. Launch more prototypes in new sectors
12. Embed co-production as the ‘default’ model through a ‘Co-production Guarantee’
Some tough challenges, co-production works as a small scale project, and something very local, but public services face huge challenges, not just in the way an organisation is structured but in their processes and mindset they will need if they want to adopt co-production as a way of doing.
The publication summarises with future thinking moving away from tick box processes to a more human way forward. The big question is, who is going to take this forward?
“This is a new kind of public sector, with complex relationships rather than complex metrics at its heart.”
And how the hell are we going to measure this? Some of the final words of the event focused on co-production being an inherent value, and to me this rings a bell for something I’ve been considering for a long time…that it’s perhaps not a way of doing, it’s not a process, it’s a way of being.
The idea does perplex me (in a good way) but it’s something I want to be involved in, and I believe in it, it’s just finding a language that can dilute it into a process that will aim to achieve the outcomes it strives to deliver. To finish with the final words of the event,
“Perhaps this is not a policy, but a movement”
Filed under: Masters in Design Innovation, Public Sector Design, Transformation Design, work | Tags: change, design, experience, interviews, led, organisation, people, professionals, service, transformation
I’ve been a bit quiet as I’m blogging away on a closed platform, I’m not allowed to share everything I’m up to, but I can cross post occasionally.
I’ve been doing a round of interviews/chats with some fantastic people and just wanted to summarise who I’ve met so far. This is a thank you from me for all your time and knowledge!
The topics ranged from how to embed design in organisations, how project teams might work, encouraging a culture of innovation, systems thinking, meta design, and reflection on what makes up a designer, to name but a few.
Below is a selection of interviews completed so far;
I will be disseminating these over the coming week and pulling out useful case studies and advice for how to embed design in organisations. And meeting some new (and old) faces next week in London.
I’m free (ish) next Monday to Wednesday if anyone is around for a drink.
Filed under: Masters in Design Innovation, Public Sector Design, service design, Transformation Design, Uncategorized, work | Tags: opportunity, public, sector, servicedesign
There’s an event taking place as I write this, from my ‘borrowed’ desk at Skills Development Scotland, that I rather wish I’d been able to attend. Snook received an email last month inviting us to an expert seminar being held by RSA Design & Society, unfortunately we can’t make it because of work commitments.
They are bringing together experts and people who have experience in design management, service design, and people working from the inside. Speakers include Ben Reason from Live Work, Lucy Kimbell who writes the excellent blog, Design leads us where exactly? and Simon Roberts of Intel and the Ideas Bazaar on embedded anthropology and social science. Not to mention my boss here at SDS, Tony Coultas, commenting on our experiences so far.
It is time we see designers switching from outside consultancy to in-house design team, and I don’t just mean a team that designs the company’s ‘look’. It’s time we saw design teams operating at the heart of organisations.
I’ve been working with Skills Development Scotland since September and am about to embark on a larger piece of work for them, designing a toolkit for frontline staff. But it’s the structure of the organisation that needs to be designed in tangent. If you supply people with a design toolkit to ‘see’ things differently and start generating ideas for frontline service delivery and internal operations, you need to support this.
Since being here, I’ve noticed a need for everything to be designed, even down to the last word on a project initiation document. For example, I recall reading a document that used terms like, ‘how can we mitigate this circumstance’ and ‘how can we terminate this operation without lasting damage’?
Through some research I did at the beginning of September last year, I found a majority of service designers turning out to be ENFJs.
“ENFJ (Extraversion, iNtuition, Feeling, Judgment) is an abbreviation used in the publications of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) to refer to one of sixteen personality types. The MBTI assessment was developed from the work of prominent psychiatrist Carl G. Jung in his book Psychological Types. Jung proposed a psychological typology based on the theories of cognitive functions that he developed through his clinical observations.”
This is research at some stage I’d like to push further into, I’ve always been fascinated a bit by the way we are, our personalities and the choices we make, and a book I dabbled in recently, ‘The challenge of change in organisations’, has spurred this interest even further.
In short, designers are ‘positive optimists’, I found myself (an ENFJ incase you’re wondering) asking, could we change, ‘how can we mitigate this circumstance’ to ‘can we find a way to solve this wicked problem?’. Witnessing a lecture last year by John Wood from Goldsmiths, I was fascinated by his description of designers being able to make the ‘unimaginable possible’ and working towards ‘attainable utopias’. I will save all this for another blog post, but google meta design and go exploring, I’m still trying to get my head round it all.
In an organisation of over 1300 people, change in an organisation is going to be a massive challenge, and you need a positive mindset to want to tackle it. I’m looking forward to my next batch of work kicking off and dealing with the small and larger picture of SDS. How can you embed design thinking into an organisation so large? How can you envisage and implement new processes and ways of doing things?
As Emily points out, this new type of embedded design teams have been described as Service Designers. Why? My take is that service designers have the skills and tools necessary to bring the intangible to life.
Like myself, Emily asks some key questions, the language barrier I feel to be the most critical,
“In practical terms, what is the job description for an in-house designer with a holistic brief? How does an organisation intent on embedding design go about recruiting designers? How is the effectiveness of staff designers paid for their holistic view to be measured? How does the design of services, structures and strategy respond to cost-benefit analysis? How is the language barrier between designers and other specialists to be overcome? How are creativity and innovation to be managed within large and often cautious or risk-averse organisations?”
In practical terms for Skills Development Scotland, it’s a ‘service designer’ and I dare you to take up the challenge.
They are advertising for a 10 month position to join the service innovation team, go on, try something new and get in touch.