Open Thinkering


Tag: Stein Ringen

TB872: Systemic failure in UK governance

Note: this is a post reflecting on one of the modules of my MSc in Systems Thinking in Practice. You can see all of the related posts in this category.

This was a fascinating 10-minute video going through how, despite competence, a mandate, and lots of money from economic prudence, New Labour didn’t manage to make a difference in child poverty and crime, and a only a negligible difference in education.

The point that Prof. Stein Ringen makes is that, if this government, with all of its advantages couldn’t get done what they were sent to do, then nobody can. He therefore comes up with a recipe, which involves some systemic ‘fixes’ — which are largely around decentralising the power that 10 Downing Street (i.e. the office of the Prime Minister) has gained over the last 30 years.

I’m not one for sitting through YouTube videos, but this one was engaging because of the work of the visual scribe, Andrew Park. What he helps bring to life is how a ‘command and control’ approach can fail to mobilise those who need to be involved in making the change happen.