Idea of the Month: “If it’s not messy, it’s not co-production”

This was the opening comment from Margaret-Ann Brünjes, the Director of Glasgow Homelessness Network at a recent meeting. It was the third meeting in a series of four where Glasgow City Council, service providers and people with lived experience of homelessness are shaping the improvement everyone wants for the city.


We had reached that sticky moment where a procurement process is due to start and the inevitable pausing of openness and collaboration. And the pause is for good reason. The collaboration to date has included providers on the patch. There will be others who have so far, not been ‘in the room’ yet may want to be and might add a valuable contribution. Everyone is keen to see a fair and equal handed approach during the formal procurement phase.


The issues of conflicts of interest and privileged information had been starting to surface and there were comments about who should and should not be in this meeting or that. Instead of worrying about this or making excuses, Maggie turned it into a positive. Co-production should be messy, it won’t be clean and tidy.


A great message and I’ve already started using it elsewhere.


Photo by Ricardo Viana

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