07 February 2011

Governing by Design

Seed Magazine has a thought-provoking article on the application of design principles to governance, as part of their "global reset" series. One paragraph in particular caught my eye concerning the "radical thinking, creative solutions, and collaborative action" required to address the complex and often intractable problems that face both the world at large, and organizations in transformation. I offer it as a challenge to UCaPP leaders to truly incorporate these practices, outlined in the Seed article, into their day-to-day business:
This design approach would be:
  • transparent (complex problems require simple, clear, and honest solutions);
  • inspiring (successful solutions will move people by satisfying their needs, giving meaning to their lives, and raising their hopes and expectations);
  • transformational (exceptional problems demand exceptional solutions that may be radical and even disruptive);
  • participatory (effective solutions will be collaborative, inclusive, and developed with the people who will use them);
  • contextual (no solution should be developed or delivered in isolation but should instead recognize the social, physical, and information systems it is part of);
  • and sustainable (every solution needs to be robust, responsible, and designed with regard to its long-term impact on the environment and society).
A useful guide for a leader's periodic self-reflection and check-in, to be sure!

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