The one planet equation applies at all levels and at state level we have similarly one set of resources and one set of population consuming goods and services. to maximise the availability of these to the customer(citizen), the state must work to continually improve service ‘quality’ by reducing the resource intensity of the services it provides. it can anly do this by allowing the customer to pull ‘value’ through the system, minimising the ‘loss to society’ that results by making the ‘work, work’.
Quality cannot be inspected in through external inspection and targets but will only be continually improved through a ‘virtuous circle’ of process learning enabled by a synergy of stakeholder knowledge and skills.
Prejudice over knowledge
The UK Audit Commission inspectors cannot argue with the results achieved by systems thinkers. But that doesn’t stop inspectors recommending (i.e. obliging) actions that they are told to inspect for, as evidence of ‘good management’.
Having developed a customer-sensitive lettings process, where all pertinent issues are taken into account by meeting people, an organisation was advised that it doesn’t do enough about promoting ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusion’.
Inspectors could see that the design copes excellently with both individual and community issues and does so in a way that is sensitive to individual and community needs and differences.
Instead what the Audit Commission inspectors want to see is things like ‘workshops’ on diversity, putting your tradesmen in a room and debating ‘how should we deal with diversity?’ If the tradesmen feel affronted (‘I don’t care what colour people are, I fix the taps’) they have to keep their mouths shut, play the game and let management get it documented so the Audit Commission can give the thumbs up.
They also want to see ‘benchmarks’. Systems thinkers know why you should never benchmark – everything you need to know to improve performance is in your own system if you know how to look.
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