Since the publication of our Enabling Help report last year, we have been working with Toby Lowe and colleagues at the Centre for Public Impact to articulate how the Outcomes Star can operationalise learning as a management strategy and other core components of the Human Learning Systems (HLS) paradigm.
Both HLS and Enabling help focus on moving on from the failings of New Public Management towards an alternative vision of supporting ‘human freedom and flourishing’ through creating flexible, relational, compassionate service delivery systems in which the role of measuring is to support learning for individuals, organisations and places.
The Star as a tool for turning HLS and Enabling Help principles into practice
We are delighted that the Star is one of the tools identified in the Centre for Public Impact’s recently launched guide: Human Learning Systems: A practical guide for the curious, commissioned by Healthcare Improvement Scotland and Iriss.
The guide highlights three different ways that the Outcomes Star can be used to put the principles of Human Learning Systems into practice:
- Person level: the Star empowers people to take an overview of where they are, understand their life as a system, choose their goals and work out the next steps to achieve them
- Organisation/place level: the Star enables meaningful purpose-aligned reflection and learning about what is and isn’t working within services, in order to better support those they serve
- Connected learning cycles: the Star offers a way of collective sense-making between different actors within or across organisations, for example within a multidisciplinary team supporting an individual, or between commissioners and service providers
Read the Outcomes Star case studies included within the guide.
The synergy between the Star and human learning systems
HLS started as an analysis of the problems within traditional approaches to public service management. It has gone on to articulate an alternative framework and then look for practical ways of bringing that vision to life.
The Outcomes Star, in contrast, started as a practical tool for service providers to evidence that they are making a difference in a way that really reflects and supports what they do. From there we articulated the vision of service delivery and public management that was implicit in the tool in our Enabling Help report.
The convergence of these approaches, despite their different starting points, speaks volumes. The time has come for this shift in thinking and practice. We look forward to furthering collaboration with the HLS movement and others who share this vision.
Could your use of the Star inspire others?
Are you working with the Star as part of a wider HLS approach?
Please get in touch with our Research analyst, Dr Anna Good (firstname.lastname@example.org), as we are keen to create and publicise more case studies.