Soft and scientific

Thie two tasks I've completed this week are at opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of change management.

The
multiple metaphor model tries to capture the complexity of the change process. For some people I suppose this will seem woolly and ambiguous and of little apparent benefit. At the other end of the spectrum is the
Child at the Centre paper I put together which captures a range of hard measures with which we can judge the impact and effectiveness of our services.

I don't see these ways of thinking as being in conflict and would argue that there is a need to combine
soft systems like the multiple metaphor model together with hard data collection and management allied to clear methods for organising ourselves and tracking progress – see
service improvement plan tracker (oops that's three bits of work done this week).

I'm indebted to David Gilmour for pointing me in the direction of
soft systems – which would appear to provide evidence that such approaches have academic credibility. Much of my own work has been influenced by systems thinkers – most notably
Peter Senge's work. If you are interested in finding out more I can recommend
The Fifth Discipline which had a transformational effect on my practice when I read it nearly 10 years ago.