Boundaries between departments can create both perceived and very real constraints for civil servants.
We think there is a better way to work and a better way to serve citizens.
One which supports the government of the day to develop and implement its policies. One which enables government to become as effective as it can be. One which helps us to address the most complex challenges, particularly those which affect more than one department.
We believe through systems leadership and something called the Strategic Framework, we can deliver the very best public services across the UK.
Systems leadership and the Strategic Framework
Systems leadership is essentially how you lead across organisational boundaries. Don’t let the name fool you. It’s not just for leaders. It’s for everyone.
The Strategic Framework is a way of working that puts citizens first and prioritises the outcomes we’re trying to deliver. It’s about delivering joined-up solutions that work, rather than working away in our own departments in isolation. It must be said that there are lots of examples of people working in this way already, though they might not consider themselves 'systems thinkers'.
There are four elements to the Strategic Framework approach:
- Approach - focusing on outcomes and considering the whole public service system;
- Governance - empowering Ministers and Senior Responsible Officers (SROs) to gain a complete view of government
- Infrastructure - ensuring our architecture supports working across boundaries;
- Culture - embedding systems leadership across and beyond government.
Part of our work involves horizon scanning which allows us to better support government to identify priorities more effectively.
We are testing the Strategic Framework approach through a series of demonstrator projects. The projects are in 5 priority areas: prosperity, security, sustainability, influence and wellbeing.
In addition to this, we are developing guidance and tools to build systems capability in government.
Our approach is built on how similar frameworks have been developed and implemented around the world. We’ve drawn together examples of private sector best practice, as well as integrating lessons from relevant academic disciplines such as systems engineering.
A blog for everyone
By bringing people together, involving the whole system in the design and delivery of the problem, we’ll find diversity of thought, and much more interesting and effective answers.
That’s why we’re launching this blog. We want to share what we’re doing and learn from others.
We’ll invite people across the public sector, members of the team and academics to share their thoughts on systems leadership and the Strategic Framework, so do subscribe for regular posts and follow us on social media.
We want as many people as possible know about systems thinking and systems leadership. We encourage debate, constructive feedback and tolerance. Please observe our community guidelines.