Operating Rules and World-Views

UnknownA Google search on co-production reveals six books, and one of these is Co-production and Personalisation in Social Care, by Susan Hunter and Pete Richie, (Jessica Kingsley Publishing). I am keen to read as much as I can, and if you have book recommendations, please share them.

This book was on my summer reading list and I must confess to a degree of bias, I am a fan of Pete Richie’s clear, values-driven thinking and writing, so out of the 6 books on Google, I started here.

Susan Hunter and Pete Richie introduce the idea of operating rules for co-production, and explain how these rules emerge from a ‘distinctive world view’. They argue that co-production can only be successful and sustainable when this world view is consciously adopted. Without this, co-production is in danger as being seen as a technical bolt-on to an existing service system.

This table, from page 17 of their book, is a helpful step forward to describing what needs to be in place – some rules around co-production, and the philosophy or world-view that underpins it.


Operating Rules

Underpinning world-view

People who rely on services involved in defining the problem as well as developing and implementing solutions

Recognising that different people interpret situations differently, hold different values and have different investments in a solution, and seeing the goal as securing a shared commitment to action rather than enforcing a single right answer

Tensions and differences between stakeholders discussed openly

Recognising that the interest of professionals and agencies are not identical with those of service users, and that saying one thing to people’s faces while writing something else in a report is almost always in the interest of the professionals rather than the person served

Focus on quality of life issues not just clinical or service issues

Humility about the role of services in people’s lives, and honest awareness of quality and limitations of what is delivered

Engagement of people who know and like the person

Seeing people as part of a social network: and valuing the contribution of friends and family as much as that of professional staff

Use of ordinary language and settings as deliberate strategy to reduce power differences

Recognition of the games that people play to enhance distance and retain power

Engaging the wider community, and viewing this as a resource not a threat

Looking in from ‘out there’ as much as looking out from ‘in here’

A focus on gifts and capacities rather than deficits

Actually believing that everyone has something to offer society


We have published 6 posts now on co-production, are we getting any closer to what it is yet, and how do you know it when you see it? 


1 thought on “Operating Rules and World-Views

  1. Differing world views is a massive subject. This Post reminds me of what Ghandi is purported to have answered when asked by a Western journalist what he thought of Western civilisation: he replied “I think it would be good thing”! The incongruence between values, principles and ethics and their effective, dignified and sustainable implementation goes to the heart of co-production in my view. To nick Ghandi’s response co-production “would be a good thing”! I still wish it well.


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