Learning As You Scale - A practical guide for using data and insights to navigate scaling and complex system change
Research team
Alexandra Yaghil, Dr. Gorgi Krlev, Dr. Hayley Trowbridge & Stephen Barnett

Learning As You Scale - A practical guide for using data and insights to navigate scaling and complex system change

Who is this guide for?

Learning As You Scale focuses on supporting people working on social innovations which are scaling in complex change environments and are often addressing ‘wicked’ problems within the social sphere. A wicked problem is a social or cultural problem that's difficult or impossible to solve - normally because of its complex and interconnected nature. Wicked problems lack clarity in both their aims and solutions and are subject to real-world constraints which hinder risk-free attempts to find a solution (Rittel and Webber, 1973). However, many of the principles and tools in this guide would be relevant to social innovations operated by social enterprises and non-profits in a market context. We trust those leading social innovations to adapt these tools, and the mix of tools, to their own needs, context and stage of innovation.

This guide has been designed specifically for those involved in social innovations who are interested in involving the people for whom the innovation is designed (the beneficiaries) within this scaling and learning process. It can be used by individuals and teams within these types of social innovations who occupy roles connected to evaluation, learning & development, and leadership, governance & strategy.

The launch of the guide took place on 28 February 2022. A recording is available to view below.

View/download Learning As You Scale guide here



Key Points
  • This guide supports those involved in scaling social innovations to develop and embed a disposition to learn ‘as they scale’. This is not the traditional formal post facto evaluation, rather it is about learning during a change process, system redesign or roll-out. 
  • Learning As You Scale may mean that the ‘innovation’ shifts and flexes in response to challenge and learning, evolving into a better social innovation along the way. 

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