Public service: state of transformation – our process to identify what really matters in public service transformation
We all know that local public services face the most complex and challenging times in their history. Demand for services continues to grow, the financial position continues to tighten, and the legislative burden continues to expand. At the same time, we also have to cope with wider changes such as the ongoing impact of welfare reform, health and social care integration, homelessness, ‘Brexit’, devolution, climate change, and an uncertain political climate, to name just a few.
And we know our strengths: we’ve coped, we have set balanced budgets, grown local economies, improved health and crime outcomes, and, in the main continued to deliver strong services. More than that, we have far greater aspirations – to move away from silo-based working and an annual cycle of salami slicing, or, worse, squeezing more blood from the stone.
Colleagues will share our aspirations to work together across the wider system of public services, focusing on a bold ambition for strong, safe, healthy and resilient communities; flourishing economies; and vibrant cities, towns and villages. This sort of change requires major and systemic transformation, it isn’t about picking off low hanging fruit and tackling the easy to fix problems. It is about embracing complexity, considering all the assets and strengths that exist, building on success wherever it exists band addressing root causes to ultimately to reduce the need for local public services.
At the Public Service Transformation Academy, this is the sort of change and transformation we are passionate about, and which we think is vital for public services to continue to operate within rapidly changing times. We are uniquely placed to draw together a map of the landscape with powerful voices who can draw attention to the patterns and possibilities. We could still be having the same conversations about transformation in ten years’ time, or we could find the difference that makes the difference now.
So we launched the Public Service: State of Transformation report and process to separate out the ‘wheat’ of real stuff that works and we can get behind and use from the ‘chaff’ of case studies, marketing, and received but failed orthodoxy.
We’re pleased to say that – after a research period spanning five months – the Public Service: State of Transformation report and case studies were launched at yesterday’s Public Service: State of Transformation It doesn’t have to be this way conference, and are now available to download.
Report contributors, many of whom spoke at the conference, include:
- Dai Powell, HCT Group
- Julian Blake, BWB
- Professor Lord Victor Adebowale OBE
- Niall Bolger, Chief Executive, Sutton Council
- Dr Carolyn Wilkins OBE, Chief Executive, Oldham Council
- Professor Gary Sturgess, Australia and New Zealand School of Government
- Dominic Llewellyn, Numbers for Good
- Joanna Killian, Chief Executive, Surrey County Council
- Eric Robinson, Chief Executive, Wirral Council
- Donna Hall, Chief Executive, Wigan Council
- Peter Ware, Browne Jacobson
- Chris Wright, Catch 22 – new delivery models (social enterprise/market perspective)
- Garath Symonds, Head of Children’s Commissioning, Surrey County Council
- Mark Rogers, Collaborate
By Mark Rogers and Valerie Pearce