Six years after A New Synthesis of Public Administration, and after  learning from more than 1000 practitioners in NS labs and workshops, the Fieldbook is providing a way to do systematically what many leaders are doing instinctively, that is: discover a pathway to a better future. The NS Fieldbook, by Jocelyne Bourgon, will be published in August.

The NS Framework

The New Synthesis (NS) Framework provides a conceptual road map for navigating the relationship between government, society, and citizens in an integrated and dynamic governance system aimed at producing results of increasing public value. These results are consumed collectively and benefit society as a whole.

The Framework, which formed the basis of the first NS book,  is articulated around four independent yet interrelated vectors: public results, civic results, state authority and collective power. Taken together, the vectors help public servants  craft their own New Synthesis  by considering the dynamic inter-relationship between actors.  This opens up new avenues for inventing solutions. At the crossroads of the vectors are tensions to manage, conflicts to resolve, and a variety of opportunities for collaborative solutions. The best solutions are those that lead to progress in the specific context and circumstances faced by practitioners.

The NS Lenses

NS is a process of discovery that encourages practitioners to explore an expanding range of possibilities by pooling resources and capabilities from government, citizens and various agents in society. It encourages applied exploration and public innovation to achieve the desired public outcomes.

The four lenses (positioning, leveraging, engaging and synthesising) form the basis of the NS Fieldbook as they guide practitioners through an exploration of the NS Framework.

Positioning is about expanding the range of policy options available to government by encouraging practitioners to use a broader mental map to think about the role of government in society.

Leveraging explores how to harness the contributions of others to achieve results of high value to society.

Engaging is about transforming the relationship between government and citizens from one of dependency to one of mutuality and shared responsibility.

Synthesising is about creating a narrative of change for a better future.