Prisons and society

Posted 2009-10-06 22:13 under prisons, society, systems thinking

I have been reading Prisongate: The Shocking State of Britain's Prisons and the Need for Visionary Change by David Ramsbotham, the former Chief Inspector of Prisons. It's an interesting read, with thought-provoking perspectives and the purpose of prisons in society, as well as an inside view of how they work and don't work in the UK.

Have been thinking more about the systemic structure of call centre service from a while back, and here is a diagram that integrates the four feedback loops:

We have been looking at issues around customer call centres, of which there are over 5,000 in the UK alone. It's clearly a challenge to balance cost with customer service, but there are also wider benefits to call centres that are probably not being realized in many places. Here are four feedback loops we found which apply to call centres large and small:

While looking at staff utilization with a large law firm, the issue that keeps cropping up in discussions with junior and mid-level ranks is quality of life, and how the current model can undermines it. Associates' working hours are very volatile, often consisting of several 16+ hour days, followed by some days of very low hours. Juniors talk about not being able to have a life, but partners are asking us, "What's the big deal? it's always been this way, and it doesn't matter."

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