Across the land there is an ever-growing gap between demand for conventional practice based, publicly-funded services and allocated state resource. Traditional ways of bridging this gap are no longer the answer, and increasingly commissioners are exploring the potential for drawing assets that are outside their control, into outcome production. Often this involves simply substituting paid employees with volunteers, something we refer to as asset-aware commissioning. While this approach is beneficial, more significant benefits flow when complementary use is made of all assets through personal and community self-help and coproduction; something we refer to as asset-based commissioning.
This text introduces asset-based practice and commissioning, explains why the language and practice of commissioning is changing and identifies two emerging variations: asset-aware commissioning and asset-based commissioning. The case is then made for adopting the later, which involves a paradigm shift. The main implications for stakeholders, systems, behaviours and relationships are outlined, as are ways of approaching this change.
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