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Failing well

By OnePlusOne, 29 September 2016

Failure is a common experience for most people in life. Failure is also a strong possibility for many organisations and systems, particularly those delivering public services. Organisations remain under pressure to cut costs and change the way services are delivered in order to become more efficient. The risk of failure inevitably increases with such complex changes. This report analyses the experiences of four different organisations that endured serious failures – often over substantial periods of time – but nonetheless managed to successfully turnaround and return to providing good services.

The report focuses on events and changes at Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council, Eltham Foundation School (now the Harris Academy Greenwich), Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and West Sussex children’s services. Based on these examples, the report identifies particular areas for learning and prevention and early intervention. The aim of the report is to contribute to a conversation about how to best understand failure, avert it, manage it and recover from it.

Read the full report from the Institute for Government


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