A manual for collaborative practice

Click here to download the report

Managing demand is critical to the future sustainability of public services, but emerging science is yet to translate into mainstream practice. In a new publication, Collaborate and The Leadership Centre address this gap by setting out a ‘Manual for Collaborative Practice’. Based on our applied work across the UK and with a range of local partners, the Manual introduces:

  • Five inconvenient truths about managing demand — and what can be done to acknowledge and address them
  • A six-point framework offering a route in for local leaders who want to start managing demand in practice
  • A guide to ‘behaviour change at scale’ and ‘social movement thinking’ as a model of future practice

Dr Henry Kippin, Executive Director of Collaborate said: 

The most powerful thing about demand management is its ability to change and challenge the way people think about what they do. It isn’t just about innovation but, at root, a fundamental re-think of the relationship between citizen and service. In this report we look at the journey local leaders are taking from building better insight to delivering collaboratively. What links their approaches is a real shift to understanding and meeting the root causes of demand, and doing it in partnership with communities.

Jo Simpson, Director of the Leadership Centre, said:

To really work, we need to go beyond demand management, and get into the realms of behaviour change. This requires the active participation of citizens at every stage, co-designing and co-crafting solutions. It requires leadership, but it’s not something one group can impose on another, it’s part of a process of pooling resources. At a time of austerity, it’s not only useful, it’s essential.

Anna Randle, Head of Collaborate’s Public Service practice, said:

With local authorities and other public services facing huge cuts, there is increasing pressure to shift from a reactive model which responds to demand as it presents, to one which understands the root causes of demand and how it can be shaped differently. This report consolidates what we know about existing demand management practice, offering practical advice to support those who are thinking about developing new approaches to shaping demand, and also moves the debate on by outlining new areas of emerging thinking.”

We are working with a range of local partners to support demand management, collaboration readiness and service transformation. To find out more and to register your interest for one of Collaborate’s one day ‘collaborative demand management clinics’, please contact Anna Randle.