Public managers should stop telling people how to behave | guardian.co.uk


Dave Clements has flagged-up further evidence of, what we [at Ontonix] have come to recognise as, EXCESSIVE COMPLEXITY. The inevitable culmination of years [and layers] of mismanagement, fluctuating budgets, changing legislation, increasing regulation, conflicting strategies – often driven by Corporate interests and, of course, a healthy measure of ill-conceived (often purely politically motivated) knee-jerk reactions to the latest crisis.

All-in-all a hybrid form of institutional abuse…the kind that kills trust, fails service users, drains frontline initiative, hurts society and paralyzes the institution!

“Thumbs up” to a transparent Big Society, built from the bottom up: collaboratively. But a “double thumbs down” to a prescriptive, top down approach.     

A truly active citizen acts of their own accord and not according to the imperatives of public management. The good news is that by ditching the policing of people’s behaviour we might emulate the vision of a big society in which responsible citizens take the reins. This is why we should adopt an alternative approach: one that genuinely enables people’s autonomy rather than smothering their initiative.

 

The complexity of influence is a challenge – and an opportunity | Guardian Professional


Influence is complex, and I mean that in the full “complexity science” sense of the word. Complexity is the phenomena that emerge from a collection of interacting objects. The interacting objects could be molecules of air and the phenomenon the weather. It could be vehicles and the phenomenon the traffic.

Human objects could be the population of Cairo, the 99%, sports fans in a sports stadium, people who like photos of cats, your customers, or your employees; in fact, any collection of people interacting with each other, influencing each other.

A characteristic of complexity is that studying the individual rarely betrays anything about the phenomena. You can’t learn much about the termite mound by studying the individual termite, or the traffic jam by studying the car.

via The complexity of influence is a challenge – and an opportunity | Media network | Guardian Professional.

“Big Society”: Just a stinking acronym…


– We should recycle this “top down”, cynical, BS because its got to be good for something…

As many Corporations have found, embracing a Strategy for Sustainability, has had a positive effect upon their balance sheet! So, why then does the UK Government appear intent upon ignoring or marginalising the issues? How can you TALK “Big Society” and not WALK a strategy that can have a positive impact in every domain?

The paper that Spelman put out on Monday, under the compelling title ‘Mainstreaming sustainable development: The government’s vision and what this means in practice’, is without a doubt the most disgraceful government document relating to Sustainable Development that I have ever seen.

Jonathon Porritt, guardian.co.uk

Well said Jonathon!

It is beyond belief when you consider that, by running their operations more sustainably, Government Departments are saving money as well as reducing energy and water consumption, emissions and waste. In August last year, after the Government had announced its withdrawal of funding for SDC, I quoted this headline: “UK Government’s progress towards sustainable operations saves £60-70m a year”

I’m sure I am not the only person to feel deeply offended when treated with such utter contempt by Politicians who, patently, believe we should just accept the claptrap they spout in an effort to justify their actions! Still, I suppose that in the eyes of the blinkered or naive it is progress to see a semblance of some strategy…no matter how nonsensical and contradictory! Read more of this post