An excellent post via Paul Clarke at Honestlyreal about how local government could be transformed based on going back to basics. I think that Paul has made an excellent point and it it well worth reading if you are interested in local government transformation..
My assumption is that people in local government do remain very focused on services and that is partly down to targets and indicators, but there is something empowering and innovative about asking ourselves why do we exist? That is the fundamental question that the public would want to understand and i think this quote from Paul’s post really sums up where we should be…
“we’re not here just to run the services; we, with you, are here to serve this community as best we possibly can”
I wonder how we would approach strategies, business planning and performance management if we took the focus away from services and on to the community itself. Paul writes…
Imagine instead that the services are the secondary consideration. And that the primary function becomes “to serve the needs of the local community”. Suddenly we’ve opened up a wealth of new possibilities. Yes, this can mean alternative delivery models, through partnerships and so on, which is hardly radical thinking. But we’re getting away from just focusing on services here, remember?
Local Government has a duty around community leadership and this would essentially drive that from the perspective of the community. Do the public really think about local government services, my personal view is NO, but what people do focus on is place and location. If we changed our focus to the same level of understanding as the public and we worked with them and even empowered them to develop their own relationships and partnerships to solve local problems that would do more for local empowerment then a single service transforming the way it delivers.
What is most interesting about this post is that it moves toward a transformational agenda which is about “changing focus” and “understanding purpose” instead of investing in systems and or solutions. Once we understand what our new role is and what that future looks like we can develop programmes to get us there.
For me this is such an important thing to consider as my role is about Enterprise Architecture and that is basically about understanding the future, modelling it and guiding the organisation toward that desired change. But we also have a role to challenge the future state based on what is best for the organisation and based on it’s core purpose.