PDIA in Practice 2: Techniques of Successful Failure

The Practice of PDIA: Building Capability by Delivering Results Podcast is a 12 part series that will walk you through the PDIA or Problem Driven Iterative Adaptation approach to solving complex development problems. 1,500 development practitioners in 90 countries have used the PDIA approach. Learn more about PDIA or download our free DIY Toolkit. Watch the Practice of PDIA videos.

Transcript

Camila Lobo: Welcome to Part 2 of the Practice of PDIA: Building Capability by Delivering Results Podcast series. This 12-part series, based on a video series used for our PDIA online course, will walk you through the PDIA or Problem Driven Iterative Adaptation approach to solving complex development problems. More than 1,500 development practitioners in 90 countries have used the PDIA approach.

Many reform initiatives fail to achieve sustained improvements in performance because organizations pretend to reform by changing what policies and organizational structures look like rather than what they actually do.In today’s podcast, we have with us Professors Michael Woolcock, Matt Andrews and Lant Pritchett who will discuss the techniques of successful failure.

Michael, let’s begin with you. Can you tell us what an implementation gap is? 

The Implementation Gap

Thank you Michael. Matt, you often say that form does not equal function. Can you explain what you mean by that?

Form does not equal function

Camila Lobo: Thanks Matt. Now Lant you have coined the phrase Isomorphic mimicry as a technique of successful failure. Can you explain how it works?

What is Isomorphic Mimicry?  

Camila Lobo: Thanks Lant. The second technique of successful failure that causes countries to be stuck in a capability trap is called premature load bearing. Michael, can you please elaborate on this?

What is Premature Load Bearing? 

Camila Lobo: Thank you for listening to Part 2 of the Practice of PDIA Podcast series. Tune in to listen to Part 3 where we discuss ways to determine what type of capability your organization needs. To learn more visit bsc.cid.harvard.edu.