What makes change work?

It’s all about change at the moment. New thinking, new models and more. The MJ tells me that the LGA in England are looking at setting up a new insurance mutual. My former employer in North Lincolnshire has established a trading company to sell its services. Aberdeen City Council has gone for a bond issue to fund investment in infrastructure. All big and positive changes. There are many more examples, and some from Angus too.

But this morning’s Leadership Forum at Angus Council (our top 100+ managers meeting) reinforced for me that fundamental to successful change in local government are some more simple things. I have in mind –

  • Acknowledging that the customer/citizen experience should be the principal driver of service re-shaping
  • Accepting that change can lead to good things – and usually does
  • Coming to terms with the fact that there are some things we just won’t do anymore
  • Knowing that while hard times may lead us to dig in and defend our bit in fact we need to do the opposite and work as one council supporting each other
  • Grasping that we don’t know as much about our business and its customers as we think we do, or as much as we should
  • Understanding that people can be frightened by change and what it means for them
  • Communicating better, and more often, to help alleviate those fears wherever we can
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