4. We must get better at delivery.
“Deliver on time, at scale, in efficient, measurable and cost-effective ways” has become a modern credo of consumer society, and infiltrated the mind-sets of leaders in the public and not for profit sectors. Those who deliver services to us and for us tend to be endowed with high levels of institutional prowess, financial backing, expertise, credentials, and political support. These endowments combine to place them in pole position as the most competent to efficiently deliver the supposed “best solutions” to modern problems. Yet, before the institutions of a given society can be effective at delivering required goods and services, citizens at the receiving end of those services must know what they truly need, and citizens can only know what they require from external delivery agents when they know what they can do with the resources they have locally. This truth highlights the need to place discovery ahead of delivery. We must know what is there and connect it, before diagnosing what is missing and prescribing top-down solutions. Put another way, society gets stronger when citizens are fruitful together for each other, when they ensure that when services are delivered that nothing is done for them, without them. When services are delivered to them or for them, they can ensure they retain authorizing powers over what outside professionals do and how they do it.