Tools have the potential to transform how we work. Just like the DIY tools many of us keep in a cupboard at home, tools used in interactions between people have the power to save us time. They can also reduce effort, substantially increase the quality of our work, and aide and facilitate interactions and discussion between people. However, selecting the right tools and using them effectively is not easy; tools can end up sitting alongside creative engagement practice, rather than within it.

The use of tools in social service interactions can better support practitioners, reveal and reflect that which is unsaid, as well as the values, attitudes, constraints and assets practitioners bring to interactions
Winter 2009

This Iriss On… is the result of collaboration between Iriss and the Leapfrog project (a research project lead by Lancaster University in partnership with the Glasgow School of Art). The work of both Iriss and Leapfrog has revealed first-​hand how people work together differently when they have a tool that gives them permission to engage with others in a different way. We’ve also found that people’s trust and confidence in using tools can vary; we sometimes need to encourage practitioners to give tools a ‘go’, and to better understand the effectiveness of their use in practice. Here we draw on this experience to take a closer look at tools, their role in creative engagement and the challenges that accompany using them.

Tools can be used to re-​design and create new organisations, services and systems
Meroni & Sangiorgi, 2011

Information about Iriss can be found on their website

Latest Activity

Using tools in Co-​design Process, an Iriss workshop

This week, Leapfrog attended a workshop organised by IRISS (Institute for Research and Innovation Social Services) on using tools in co-​​design process. The event mainly looked at various tools developed and …

IRISS Working Seminar: Evaluation and Intermediaries in the Public Sector

Last week Leapfrog participated in a working seminar focusing on the evaluation of intermediaries in the public sector. This was organised by IRISS (Institute of Research in Social Science) an independent …

Talking about what a tool is with IRISS

What does the word “tool” mean when we talk about Leapfrog tools? We were joined this week by The Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services (Iriss). IRISS is …

Imagine Iriss

This week, Fiona, Gayle, Lisa, Rhiann and Rikke from Iriss, The Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services, a charity that bridges practise, policy and research based in Glasgow visited the …