I have been collecting some very short stories over the summer.
Here’s a handful:
All of these stories are true. And I have many more. At first glance they seem quite random but look a little deeper and see that although the settings are different – hospital, business, school, neighbourhood – each one is about relationships, what happens when they work and what happens when they don’t.
We live in a world that is changing rapidly, a world of transactions where real relationships are repeatedly and systematically displaced by fast and feeble connections shrinking the quality of our lives, reducing our collective capacity and impairing the performance of our organisations, businesses and services. I wouldn’t want to rewind history even if we could but we do need to learn how to behave differently, how to benefit from progress in ways which don’t diminish our humanity but sustain and enrich it. To achieve that we have to fundamentally rethink how Britain works.
Imagine a place where relationships are the central operating principle running through everything we do – a “relationship centred” hospital, business, school, neighbourhood. What would change?
We know that most things – councils, banks, Job centres, shopping centres, class rooms – don’t work well when relationships are undervalued or at least they don’t work as well as they could. They have been planned for a smooth process not designed for the best outcome. Systematic transactions are plannable. Warm relationships cannot be so easily reduced to recurring algorithms. We can only unleash the potential here by designing or redesigning from a different, relationship centred perspective and by involving everyone in the process. Change the design process and we change the outcome. Root the process in the lived experience of the place and we can make a new story.
To help make this happen we are working on an Open Framework for Relationship Centred Design with a community of practise that will jointly build, apply and share the principles along with practical instruments for co designing and match making.
If you would like to be involved, to help develop or trial the framework or just to be kept in touch with progress please contact firstname.lastname@example.org