Capabilities for building bridges across government

Estimated Time
10 minutes
Resource Type
TIPC Region

As governments are tasked with delivering transformative change across interconnected systems, an integrated and evolutionary approach is needed, often calling for intermediaries.

In 2021, TIPC and One Team Gov developed an experimental learning session to explore the conditions that give rise to collaboration and change within government. This work helps to facilitate learning and collaboration on policies and programmes, and the exchange of ideas and resources. It can be described as ‘networking’ – one of 12 transformative outcomes advancing system change.

The session was designed by Clare Moran, Nour Sidawi and David Buck, who have been working within the UK Civil Service as intermediary actors, connecting ‘islands’ of government to link their activities and scale up impact, in partnership with Victoria Shaw and Ed Steinmueller at TIPC.

It focused on the human aspects of building bridges across islands, of making cross-government collaboration more systemic, and of building capacity for ambiguity and emergence. It also addressed the organisational and personal conditions needed to facilitate networking and other outcomes that support transformative change.

During the workshop, participants were asked to consider the personal capabilities and characteristics needed to play these intermediary roles, specifically:

  • building bridges;
  • mobilising networks; and
  • aligning visions across a complex system, community or organisation.

Forty-three participants responded to the questions, and the Mentimeter slides present their perspectives on how these people can be described, how they make others feel, and how they mobilise others towards action.


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