Using new ways of working to

solve the challenge of

joined up working.

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The challenges faced by the public sector cannot be solved by working in isolation.
To be successful we need to work across organisational and professional boundaries. This means developing a new skillset and changing the way the organisation works to support collaborative, rather than silo working 

Many organisations in the public sector stand at the cutting edge of transformation from one mode of organisational working to a new mode, one that challenges some basic assumptions about the way we organise ourselves to address the big issues of the day. This transition isn’t one that any single organisation is making alone but represents a fundamental shift in the way organisations are responding to the multi-faceted challenges of our times. 


Organisations change all the time but every so often there is a radical shift in the underlying assumptions and beliefs that determine how an organisation works.  In various parts of the world, leading organisations are making the transition from a performance driven model of organisation to what we call a collaborative model of organisation.[1]


A key underlying belief of the performance model is that some people are more capable than others and that these people need to make the decisions. This model produces a merit-based hierarchy and drives improvement through maximisation of performance of individual parts of the system using measurement and control. This is the organisational model most prevalent in our society and, whilst it has been very effective at driving performance and efficiency improvements, it is the reason why many people feel so disengaged [2] in their work and why silo-based working is so difficult to break down. The performance model was the cutting edge in the 1980s but doesn’t get the most out of todays well-educated workforce.

In contrast the collaborative model operates from an insight that, whilst some people are more capable than others, nobody is as capable as everybody. This leads to more collaborative and more inclusive ways of working, releases the potential of everybody (not just the most capable few) and increases the capability of the organisation for genuinely innovative and joined-up delivery. 


We specialise in helping organisations make the transition from a performance model of organisation to a collaborative model. We have an in-depth understanding of what it takes to make this transition. We understand the key drivers of success and have witnessed first-hand the pitfalls that can hold the organisation back. This knowledge and experience can help you create an OD strategy that is genuinely transformative and avoid the potential for gradual creep back into older, less effective ways or working.


[1]See Re-inventing Organisations by Frederick Laloux or Re-inventing the technology of Human accomplish by Gary Hamel

[2]The CBI reports that up to two thirds of people feel disengaged at work.

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