Radical Efficiency

We know that austerity means public services have to be radically transformed to meet local needs. Radical Efficiency improves outcomes for service users whilst also making cost savings.

Significant spending cuts are an unpleasant reality for those delivering public services. Taking bits out of the current system is not the only option - there are alternatives.

At its heart, Radical Efficiency redesigns services to focus on the end user. The starting point is not ‘how do we save money here?’ It is ‘what will most improve people’s lives?’ It creates new and different services with much better outcomes for the people who use them.

An excellent example of the model in practice is evident in the work done by Innovation Unit and the Children’s Centres in the Whiston area of Knowsley. Radical Efficiency:

  • brought together a mixed team to drive the work, interpret research findings and co-design solutions; 
  • comprised of children’s centre staff, parents and community partners; 
  • carried out an exercise to segment potential service users; 
  • conducted intensive research and insight gathering, working with families and the wider community to understand the real challenges faced by families;
  • carried out “horizon scanning”, looking at innovations around the world in early years work, to stimulate new thinking on existing challenges; and 
  • undertook a resource audit to understand how money was being spent and what impact it had.

Working with local authorities has shown that the process can be mobilising and energising. It helps public service professionals to pursue the mission that attracted them to their roles in the first place - it is a route to helping improve the quality of people's lives, even as cuts in spending are unavoidable.

Radical Efficiency is not an abstract theory. It is based on hundreds of well-evidenced examples of different, better, lower cost services and has been put into practice in the UK. Read more about how it works by downloading the documents on the right, or learn more about how Radical Efficiency is transforming early years services here.