This powerful new book provides a clear framework for understanding and learning an emerging management practice, leading public design.
Drawing on more than a decade of work on public sector innovation, Christian Bason uses his extensive practical experience and research conducted among public managers in the UK, the US, Australia, Finland and Denmark to explore how public organisations can be redesigned from the outside in, shaping policies and services that are truly experienced as useful and meaningful to citizens, and which leverage all of society’s resources to co-produce better outcomes.
Through detailed case studies, the book presents six management practices which leaders in government can use to involve citizens, staff and other stakeholders in innovation processes. It shows how managers can challenge their own assumptions, leverage empathy with citizens, handle divergence, navigate unknown territory, experiment and rehearse future solutions through prototyping, and create more public value.
Ultimately, Leading public design provides a pathway to a new and different way of governing public institutions: human-centred governance. As a more relational, networked, interactive and reflective approach to running organisations, this emerging governance model promises a more human yet effective public sector.
Christian Bason is CEO of the Danish Design Centre, former head of the Danish government's innovation team MindLab, and a doctoral fellow at Copenhagen Business School.
Introduction: Design as a vehicle for exploration;
The public sector and its problems;
The changing nature of design;
In search of the next governance model;
Design practice in government;
Exploring the problem space;
Generating alternative scenarios;
Enacting new practices;
Design for public value;
Enabling human centred governance by design;
Take the curvy path: Leading change by design engagement.
“This new book by Christian Bason is a compelling read for both senior leaders and those on the frontline of the public sector. Bason makes it clear that leading public design is an ongoing journey driven by curiosity and a sense of purpose. I can warmly recommend his book to anyone involved in the challenging but ever inspiring task of making innovation a daily practice in government”. Huda Al Hashimi, Assistant Director General Strategy + Innovation, UAE Prime Minister’s Office
“Leading Public Design is a welcome addition to the growing field of public sector design thinking. Bason does an excellent job of explaining how the introduction of design principles can lead to more people-friendly government services. His practical observations from real case studies, and the conceptual frameworks he develops, will be informative and helpful for public administrators around the world.” Paul Macmillan, Partner, Deloitte Consulting, Canada
“Human-centred service design - the discipline of being cross-disciplinary, of empathetically seeking to understand everyone’s perspective - is changing how social science is taught in our universities. Read about the state of this new art from Christian Bason, one of its foremost pioneers for over a decade.” Nicholas Gruen, Lateral Economics