DOM CAMPBELL @ FUTUREGOV: DESIGNING FOR CHANGE IN PUBLIC SERVICES

For those who have attended our successful discussion panel in 2012, it will be a delight to know that Dom was back again in Melbourne to give us a talk on ‘Designing for change in public services’.

Dominic Campbell is a digital government specialist and founder of FutureGov. FutureGov designs digital products that improve public services, especially in areas of high importance, cost and risk such as child protection and social care.

FutureGov has a 30-strong team in the UK, and has been working with local government in Australia over the last couple of years. It’s great to have Dom join us to talk about how FutureGov has used service design to transform public services.

About Dom
Dominic Campbell is a digital government specialist and social innovator with a background in government policy, communications and technology-led change.

He is an experienced organisational change agent with senior management experience in implementing successful change initiatives within the local government sector, with a primary interest in emerging uses of new media and “social” strategies to deliver public service transformation and social innovation.

Dominic was recently voted in both the top 50 most influential people in UK local government and top 50 most influential users of social networking site Twitter in the UK.

“The Australian Public Service (APS) is increasingly being tasked with solving very complex policy problems. Some of these policy issues are so complex they have been called ‘wicked’ problems. The term ‘wicked’ in this context is used, not in the sense of evil, but rather as an issue highly resistant to resolution.

Successfully solving or at least managing these wicked policy problems requires a reassessment of some of the traditional ways of working and solving problems in the APS. They challenge our governance structures, our skills base and our organisational capacity.

It is important, as a first step, that wicked problems be recognised as such. Successfully tackling wicked problems requires a broad recognition and understanding, including from governments and Ministers, that there are no quick fixes and simple solutions.

Tackling wicked problems is an evolving art. They require thinking that is capable of grasping the big picture, including the interrelationships among the full range of causal factors underlying them. They often require broader, more collaborative and innovative approaches. This may result in the occasional failure or need for policy change or adjustment.

Wicked problems highlight the fundamental importance of the APS building on the progress that has been made with working across organisational boundaries both within and outside the APS. The APS needs to continue to focus on effectively engaging stakeholders and citizens in understanding the relevant issues and in involving them in identifying possible solutions.

The purpose of this publication is more to stimulate debate around what is needed for the successful tackling of wicked problems than to provide all the answers. Such a debate is a necessary precursor to reassessing our current systems, frameworks and ways of working to ensure they are capable of responding to the complex issues facing the APS.”

(Australian Public Service Commission 2007, p. iii)

 

File: wicked problems 2007

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