Local Government: Sooner, Safer, Happier for Stockport MBC (IV) 

Chapter 4

This week was split between the final discovery/research activities with SMBC and training Airbnb folk in the ways of Kanban (which is of course a different but thoroughly enjoyable story!)

 

I have been interviewing individuals from across all of Stockport Council’s services and the depth, breadth and height of the org structure, in addition to this I ran a short Agendashift mini-survey across a wider selection of people across the same dimension.

 

I have used Mike Burrow’s Agendashift survey and assessment tool on numerous occasions and very successfully with Stockport Council’s IT Services and Digital by Design Teams on my first engagement with them in in 2017. It seems to have struck a chord again as within hours I was overwhelmed by the volume of responses to the simple questions on the subject of Transparency, Balance, Collaboration, Customer Focus, Flow and Leadership.

 

The results will be a great help in understanding what help I (and my Sooner Safer Happier colleagues) should offer, where and why in terms of coaching, facilitation and training support.

Some of you may have spotted my LinkedIn post this week on behavioural science, transformation and the COM-B model. This relates very much to what I have easily observed this week at SMBC…creating the motivation for changing ways of working is not the challenge here. The colleagues here have it in spades. Purpose also, I have always found those working in public services have an almost superhuman understanding of their purpose and impact on society (sorry about the hyperbole…if not superhuman, they more than make up for any of us who lack our fair share!)

 

What I am aware of is the need to create opportunity this can come through things like training, incentivisation, reviewing work policies, and also the need to reinforce capability by reinstating some of the visual working and collaborating that was lost (not only here, but in many organisations) when Covid-19 and lockdown. This is something that many enterprises are struggling with; the restricting of working environments to encourage the flow of information when physical meets virtual meets hybrid workplaces.

 

As I’ve said July has been full of interesting conversations and this week it has especially been great to put my head together with those of Rachel, Ros and Katy in Business Relationship Management to talk about the opportunities to build on existing capabilities by running some ways of working experiments in building transparency and utilising flow metrics & management.


It is apparent that teams are very good at discovering and describing value, so there is a wealth of ideas to implement. Rachel, Ros, Katy and I are very interested in what we might do to ensure an increasing amount of these ideas become a reality as the societal pressures of covid, cost of living, and climate throw more and more challenges…which need more and more responses our way.

 

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