Article Index

Learning system

This means that the processes themselves constantly change and evolve based on results. Learning systems are not new and neither are they (on their own a panacea), the German Army in World War 1 had a formal process for recording front line experience, collecting it and dispersing lessons learned, however it was not the German Army that invented the tank to solve identical problems to that faced by its main enemy on the western front who did (Note: Defence in Depth). The need for learning is clear, but the point of this illustration is that it needs to be supported by other traits as well. When a contract is outsourced learning is not possible because the contract is the basis on which work is carried out – to change it is to change the specification and so to incur additional costs. As Polly Toynbee notes “after so many years of outsourcing, managers had long lost the knowledge of how many hours each ward or clinic needed for cleaning.” (Note: An Experience of Outsourcing)

As already noted, the 5 year election cycle and the use of Public Enquiries are feedback mechanisms that are just too slow and ineffectual for the speed of change that the world is now experiencing.