Interesting elsewhere – 14 November 2013

Things which caught my eye elsewhere on the web

    Why is the corporate welfare state so flawed – and how could it be made better? – Nesta
    The aim should not be one-sided welfare, but rather better deals in which both sides win.  Groups of firms or sectors should be encouraged to engage with government and propose deals – where governments sorts out the things only it can fix, like basic research, infrastructure, regulations and skills – and business gets on with the job of developing better goods and services. The crucial point is that these deals need to be structured around performance – with funding released in response to demonstrable evidence of growth. Welfare needs, in other words, to become conditional, while policy becomes experimental.

    Synthesisers and Provocateurs | Flip Chart Fairy Tales
    To change an organisation you need to challenge. Informed challenge helps to shift the way people talk, think and, eventually, act. If HR professionals, or anyone else for that matter, want to change the way their organisations work, they will need to become synthnesisers and provocateurs.

    Systems Innovation – Charles Leadbeater
    Systems innovation depends on alliances, and alliances need to be governed, explicitly or implicitly. That takes political innovation as well as financial and technical innovation.

    A Horizontal Manifesto – Joel Bailey
    I’ve spent 2,000 words describing how verticalism undermines private sector businesses. I could write 5,000 on how it undermines public sector organisations.

    Stumbling and Mumbling: Ten political assumptions
    I don't say all this to mean these assumptions are necessarily wrong. I do so just to point out that politcal debate is much narrower than you might think.

    Why Face-To-Face Meetings Are Overrated | Inc.com
    By rationing in-person meetings, their stature is elevated to that of a rare treat. They become something to be savored, something special. Dine out every once in a while on those feasts and sustain yourself in the interim on the conversation “snacks” that technology makes possible. That will give you all the magic you can handle.

    No, minister | Matthew Taylor’s blog
    But still, the fiction persists that we can substantially improve policy making without discussing the performance of ministers and the interface between them and civil servants. As long as it does, the promise to improve the quality of policy making in Whitehall will ring hollow.

    Open practice, working out loud and the top five reasons why I blog | Sarah Lay
    Open practice, or working out loud, makes us all better. It benefits the individuals in the team by letting them share success or learn from failure, it helps the team to see the steps on their journey and all the individual pieces of work going into their puzzle and it benefits fellow practitioners through knowledge sharing and making links to collaborate.

    Why Policymakers Ignore Evidence
    Speak to many University colleagues and they will report what appears to be a common experience: evidence carefully collected and assembled about significant societal concerns, and what to do about them, are presented to policy makers and then promptly ignored. How can this frustrating process best be understood? The dozen explanations I offer are less to do with the political process being corrupt and have more to do with its complexities which academics from all disciplines need to understand and respect.

    Stumbling and Mumbling: Why not a basic income?
    A [basic income] is, perhaps paradoxically, a policy of pessimism. It's based in part upon the idea that governments lack the ability to distinguish between people of high and low needs or between strivers and scroungers – except at high cost – and so should adopt the low-information policy of giving everyone the same. However, politicians are self-selected for having faith in the power of government. They therefore believe – more than the rest of us – that governments can do better than a BI.

    Memex 1.1 » Blog Archive » The banality of organisational evil
    Corporate employees are not evil people, but in their organisational roles they tend to follow five rules:

    (1) You never go around your boss. (2) You tell your boss what he wants to hear, even when your boss claims that he wants dissenting views. (3) If your boss wants something dropped, you drop it. (4) You are sensitive to your boss’s wishes so that you anticipate what he wants; you don’t force him, in other words, to act as a boss. (5) Your job is not to report something that your boss does not want reported, but rather to cover it up. You do your job and you keep your mouth shut.

    The 10 Minute Clarity Test – System Thinking For Girls
    The lesson here is that clarity is hard when people are afraid. Most of us will do anything to avoid looking stupid in front of other people. So,  if you want clarity, you have to do something about the fear. If you are in charge of a meeting, create some new rules.

    Why customers’ actual experience trumps company processes every time | Sole Trader PR
    The focus on internal business process rather than the actual experience of real live customers must be the very definition of bad business practice. It’s certainly dreadful customer service. Complaints, though difficult to hear, are hugely valuable in showing where systems are failing. They’re not personal attacks that need to be defended at all costs.

    Stumbling and Mumbling: The intelligence curse
    Many political problems are either insoluble, or have quite simple solutions which are unsellable (basic income, voluntary jobs guarantee, drug legalization). For the former category intelligence is useless, for the latter unnecessary.

    What We Don’t Blog About and What it Says About Us « iBenedictines
    No matter what we leave out, what we choose not to write about, someone, somewhere will have something to say that is worth reading, on precisely the subjects about which we ourselves are inadequate.