A good example of this approach is Leading for Outcomes, a series of manuals designed to assist managers in embedding a personal outcomes approach in the work of their team. This programme draws on two bodies of evidence, one relating to effective leadership, and the other the extensive body of work on user-defined outcomes initiated by the Social Policy Unit (Qureshi, 2001) and further refined at Glasgow University (Petch et al, 2007). A core manual was developed, focused on ensuring understanding of the approach through a series of practical exercises; four specialist manuals target specific groups. An initial audit allows teams to identify their own learning needs and select a relevant pathway.
These manuals support innovation in social services as they encourage practitioners to shift the balance of power from the professional towards the service user (Boyle et al, 2010). This requires a radical culture shift from existing practice, where the provision of support in Scotland has typically been led by what is available rather than by what outcomes people want to achieve. The manuals have also been created with cost-effectiveness for the social service community in mind. They have been designed to be able to be used flexibly by organisations, teams or individuals seeking to practice in an outcomes-focused way. They are free to all to download, and whilst we spend money on designing the guides to ensure accessibility, we do not spend money on expensive printing costs, thus enabling us to produce such resources in a cost-effective way.