So, you want to transform public services?

Benjamin P. Taylor
3 min readSep 19, 2023

Please pick up the dice – and be prepared for a hell of a ride!

What's a snake, a radical thought, or a ladder in *your* field? Join the discussion on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/antlerboy_public-service-transformation-snake-and-ladders-activity-7109785694759219200-yn_i?utm_source=share&utm_medium=member_desktop

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So, you want to transform public services?

Please pick up the dice – and be prepared for a hell of a ride!

What's the equivalent for your career?

Here are some of the thoughts you might experience...

•I’m good at delivery / management / commissioning my service – but surely I could achieve more?

•Policy is the answer! If we can just get it right... and implement it right...

Commissioning is the answer. It covers *everything*!

•Specify and manage outcomes… that's all we really need...

•Oh… we need to really get into process – identify what matters to citizens

•Hmm… we need to work across all the worlds - everyone has a different perspective!

•We're supposedly doing digital - but we just computerised what we were already doing!

•Oh… we need to change management thinking. And influence politicians…

•Woah! Now I’m working across organisations…

•I need to do some work on myself! Maybe *I'm* part of the problem?!

•And now it seems I’m in their world – doing systems change

•I think I might know what the hell I’m doing – can I teach others?

Here are some of the (very tempting) snakes...

•Oh these IDIOT bosses and politicians! If only we could do without them!

•Well, that was an inspiring course – but what do I do now?

•Hey - there *has* to be a technology solution to this?

•Ohh – our services are ‘doing to’ the citizens :-(

•My radicalism and polarisation seems to be counter-productive :-(

•Ohh… we’re still doing Bad Help - Doing To people and disempowering them

•Destroyed by the system - this is it, it's over, I'm an outcast...

•So this is what a long, dark teatime of the soul is like...

•Ahh – the hubris of ‘expertise’

And here are some of the ladders you might find, if you're lucky

•Deep simplicity – if we can only have honest conversations, clarity, and learning, we can really get somewhere...

•Good training and development! Yay!

•Hit by the bolt of radicalism!!

•Good help, ABCD principles, human to human...

•Deep simplicity – if I just focus on shaping a positive culture, and setting a good and clear intent, I'll achieve so much!

•Hmm… these people ARE me! I live here, I know them... we're not so different...

What's a snake, a radical thought, or a ladder in *your* field?

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