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Rise of the enablement mindset

In recent decades, many governments around the world have embraced a service delivery mindset inspired by management practices from the private sector. By examining the evidence of what works and what doesn’t, designing services based on this understanding, and managing those services efficiently, the logic runs that we are likely to achieve better outcomes for people.
But is the delivery mindset always the most effective? Or might there be a better alternative – what we call an enablement mindset – which, rather than focusing on improving services directly, instead focuses on cultivating the conditions from which good solutions are more likely to emerge?
As part of its research on the Future of Government, the Centre for Public Impact has documented a rise of the enablement mindset in many innovative governments and public agencies around the world. They think that this will, in many ways, be at the heart of the future of government.

What’s coming next
Over the next months, they will be publishing interviews conducted with senior government leaders and other experts on their reflections on what it takes for governments to be fit for the future.
They will also be launching a series of Observatory case studies on alternative management and governance practices such as Buurtzorg’s model of care, with a view to exploring different ways in which governments can achieve the outcomes that really matter for citizens through public services.

Get involved in shaping the future of government
The Centre for Public Impact will continue to explore and debate the implications of the enablement mindset and would love to hear stories of what enablement means to you and how you practice it. Get in touch at

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