Supportive relationships are the key to tackling most social ills. A state that focussed more on building and sustaining relationships – how people work with one another to create solutions – will be more effective and efficient in the long run than one that relies on professionally delivered services as the solution to most problems.
This article in the Guardian sets out the thinking for what others have since started to call a relational state. Most of what we most value comes from relationships.
A rough draft of ideas I have been developed with Participle on seeing public services through the lens of relationships is here:
You can download the slides I used at a presentation to the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit on the future of public services below.
The theme was that public services should be seen as relationships and their goal should be to sustain relationships: services that work with people rather than to or for them.