Four different conversations with broadly the same conclusion.

This week I’ve been fortunate enough to speak (and listen) to lots of intelligent and thoughtful people about a variety of topics. Four stood out for a singular reason.

  • How do we get people to embrace change in the work place?
  • How do we improve the quality of data that councils hold?
  • How do we make organisations more responsive to external pressures?
  • How do we support communities with dwindling funding of services?

The answer to all those (and I’m paraphrasing considerably) was..

Get out of the way and trust people to do the right thing.

What we’re talking about here is the recognition that complex problems at any level require something other than the rigid structures and layers of authority. Really meaty challenges can’t be solved when durisdiction only reaches as far as the lines on the org chart. We need people who are connected with a purpose and have the autonomy to follow it.

If purpose is one key component, trust is the other.

  • Trust that people can find their own answers rather than being given them in advance.
  • Trust that people will improve the quality of council data, or use it for some amazing civic good that nobody had thought of.
  • Trust that staff or customers of the organisation have untapped insights into where improvements could be made.
  • Trust that communities have the potential to self organise and thrive.

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