Date: 21 Jun 2017
Cat: Design thinking, Problem solving

Governments, and the citizens they serve, are increasingly frustrated by persistent, complex problems that thwart policy development and adoption and the effectiveness of public programs. Many of these problems exist and persist because they are misunderstood and, consequently, inadequately addressed.

The challenge. “We’re simply not making progress on many important issues” is a sentiment expressed by many public sector leaders. “While we know we need to collaborate better across agencies, we’re hampered by a lack of clarity about the problem and what resolution looks like, coupled with pressure to deliver ‘fixes’ in the short term.”

Our approach. To help achieve progress and generate greater public value, Innergise worked with the Australian & New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) to deliver a skill-building program to the executive ranks of federal, state and local governments. The program, called Solving Complex Problems Well, was successfully piloted in May 2017.

The scope. The program provides public sector executives with hands-on experience using proven tools and techniques that make it possible to achieve real progress in diagnosing and resolving complex problems. It’s all underpinned by the experience of practice, and theory and evidence from leading world thinkers. Consistent with best practice in adult education, the program involved practical exercises, interactive discussion and real public sector scenarios.

An innovation. The program provides insights to the true nature of complex problems and what it takes to resolve them, underpinned by a fresh, integrated and novel view of important insights from psychology and neuroscience.

The outcome. Participants found the program highly valuable, rating it a startling 4.9/5! The stimulating learning environment, transferable insights and practical methods were cited as key features. The program designer and leader,┬áDr Nick Fleming, was described by participants as “a gifted teacher” who is “obviously a leader in this field, from whom it’s a privilege to learn”.

What now? ANZSOG is offering this program to leaders in federal, state and local government across Australia and New Zealand. They have also invited Innergise to develop a new program focused on achieving greater public value creation via more effective partnerships with consultants.