Returning to Quarry House, and why knowing nothing is sometimes an advantage

Stephen Hale
Quarry House in Leeds

We’ve just started a new discovery project for the Department of Health and Social Care.

It’s an intriguing piece of work. A digital service that supports a long-standing rewards scheme for the NHS workforce.

It’s familiar territory for Lagom. A lot of our work is with or for parts of the health system. So we are well-practiced in recruiting NHS staff for our research, and conducting our field visits in the offices and wards of NHS trusts.

And personally, it represents a return to the department that I worked for as a member of staff for several years. I know the corridors of Quarry House pretty well.

But of course, we start from scratch with every discovery. And while it may help to know some of the organisations involved, and recognise some of the user roles, I actually knew little of the Clinical Excellence Awards when I worked for the department.

Frankly, it wouldn’t have been much advantage to our work now if I’d been closer to them then.

The opposite may be true in fact. I’ve found that it can be helpful in a discovery to know very little at the outset, so that I can ask lots of naive questions, without any assumptions about what the answers might be.

So, despite being on familiar ground, that’s what we’ll be doing: asking questions like we don’t know anything at all.

* Image of Quarry House by Lad 2011, used under the Creative Commons Licence

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