The Three R's

Managing services for people

Amongst the many 'kinds of opportunity to engage effectively that a services' staff may need to work work with, one stands out as being in need of special attention and particular focus, in the PIEs 2.0 formulation. That is the social environment that is created within services themselves.

This is not so much about the way we use the buildings, but in the ways the service itself works - the social life and social structure of the service.  Services have far more control over these areas than any other; and these areas seem so significant, as a special kind of 'spaces of opportunity', that in PIEs 2.0  they are given their own heading. (This was also a practical issue: it means we don't have to have all six elements in the 'spaces' theme, far more than any others.)

So to recap, the essential ingredients are three:

  • the rules of the service, that govern the day-to-day operations;
  • the roles that are available - for both staff and users - within the social structure ;
  • and finally, the more un-written ways in which the service actually works - the responses or responsiveness to events.

This trio of ‘rules, roles, and responses’ aims here to focus on such immediate and practical expressions of the way a service works, especially with clients, but also with its own staff, and with other agencies. Taken together, we usually call these 'the Three R's'.

Each term will need spelling out in a good deal more detail; and in the Pizazz Handbook, we have done so. But it seems that the combination does manage to convey most of the intended emphasis on practical and organisational issues, in a service's day-to-day dealings.

Relationships in practice

NB: Rules, roles, and responsiveness or (‘the Three Rs’) replaces the term  ‘managing relationships’ in the 'classic' (PIEs 1) formulation - leaving the centrality of building relationships to be treated not as one issue, alongside the others, but as the pervasive issue that, like reflective practice, runs through everything.

The term ‘managing relationships’ had never seemed satisfactory, even to the authors of the ‘complex trauma guidance' of 2010, that had in the end adopted it, simply for want of a batter phrase.  Many recent versions have therefore tended to drop the word ‘managing’; and some talk of the ‘centrality’, or ‘recognising the importance" of creating constructive relationships.

Yet dropping the word ‘managing’ has left a gap where the day-to-day workings of an organisation and a service need to be outlined. As a result, perhaps, some services are still struggling to know how and where to begin, to become PIEs. Returning the emphasis to day-to-day practice may clarify the point.

NB: For more general attitudes that characterise an agency, see Learning and Enquiry.


Further background reading/listening/viewing

PIElink pages on the Big Five themes

Psychological awareness ; HERE

  • Empathy and emotional intelligence : HERE
  • Approaches and techniques : HERE
  • Psychological models : HERE

Training and support : HERE

Learning and enquiry : HERE

  • Reflective practice : HERE
  • A culture of Enquiry : HERE
  • Sector engagement : HERE
  • Evidence- generating practice : HERE

Spaces of opportunity : HERE

  • The built environment : HERE
  • Networks and surroundings : HERE
  • Pathways, systems and system coherence : HERE

The Three Rs : HERE

  • Rules and procedures : HERE
  • Roles and relationships : HERE
  • Responsiveness : HERE

Where are relationships in PIEs 2.0? : HERE

A lived experience view of PIEs : HERE

What's the Big Idea?  : HERE

From PIEs 1 to PIEs 2.0 : HERE

Will there be a PIEs 3? : HERE



Pizazz: A new and more customisable working framework for PIEs :  HERE