Have you heard of ‘commissioning’? Here’s why it’s important in all our lives

‘Commissioning’ is misunderstood, denigrated, reduced to something else, and important. Often seen as just procurement, outsourcing, or a commercial activity, in fact it is about really achieving our goals as a society.

There are three versions of commissioning

1.0 started as a way to try to buy things effectively, thinking about the real needs, and learning from results. Commissioners were the centre of the universe, their budget what made everything happen

Imagine buying street cleaning services. Complicated, tough — but you sign the contract and things happen

2.0 got us thinking about the outcomes we need, and how to get to them — immediately making the commissioner a humbler part of a much bigger, complex system

Now think about how you achieve the goal of clean streets — it’s a much bigger picture

3.0 means thinking about what people are already doing and achieving for themselves — how can we help our community and businesses to have clean streets?

In each step, the commissioner gives up their centrality. And gains more power

Where could you play on a bigger stage — and step up from clever buying to outcomes focus to a strengths focus?

Download the full thinkpiece ‘commissioning is an approach to transformation’

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