Kafka Brigade Principles
Start with the citizen
Working with our clients, we use quantitative and qualitative techniques to identify case examples of people’s real experiences of public services that are representative of larger problems. Our case research then exposes and explores the causes of these problems. The research is never just about an individual problem – it is about drawing lessons from concrete, real life situations that can then benefit whole communities.
No action without reflection, no reflection without action
It is important to highlight that the Kafka Method is grounded in three evidenced theories: public value (Mark H Moore), Adaptive Leadership (Ronald Heifetz and Marty Linsky), and Tame/Wicked/Critical (Keith Grint). These theories all point to the need for public managers to engage critically in the challenges facing them: slavishly following a ‘process’ or method is unlikely to work. The Kafka Brigade always builds in reflection time throughout projects to understand cause and effect, to plan the next steps and to maximise learning.
Putting the citizen front and centre while involving all stakeholders
To understand the roots of excessive bureaucracy, the Kafka Brigade involves all stakeholders, starting with the citizens who bear the burden of conflicting and un-joined-up services and working out to front-line workers, their managers, their senior executives, and policy officials. We involve everyone in both analysing the problem, and in identifying solutions.
Rules are necessary, but may be implemented much better
Laws, rules and procedures: they’re necessary for well-functioning and fair government. But certain rules and procedures can undermine the effectiveness of others or, over time, unintentionally give rise to altogether new problems. The Kafka Brigade excels at helping public organisations and civil society cut through unnecessary, problematic or outdated red tape.
Under the radar
During projects, the Kafka Brigade flies under the radar, avoiding media exposure. This discrete approach provides our clients with the space to reflect honestly and constructively on current practices and behaviours, together and to develop solutions without being subjected to distorting media pressure, messages or timelines. Once this has been done and there are successes, we will be delighted to celebrate with you!
Creating a safe environment: public servants are part of the solution
Critical reflection and creative problem solving flourish in an environment where individuals are commended for their honesty and supported for their willingness to put forward new ideas and challenge each other’s assumptions. With this truth in mind, the Kafka Brigade strives to provide a safe yet stimulating environment for all project participants. We also recognise that it’s the people in the system that will deliver any success – not us: public servants are part of the solution.