28 September 2009

Thinking outside the box

Great article here!

At a time of increasing financial pressure, service commissioners may be tempted to play safe with design – but Ruth Keeling finds that trying new approaches can produce better results and, ultimately, save public cash

After years of efficiency programmes, the state of public finances is such that departments are being asked to cut expenditure again. How will they do that? One answer may be a radical rethink of the way services are designed – at least, that is the idea behind the Design Council’s ‘Public Service by Design’ programme....

14 September 2009

Trust & creativity

I have just blogged on my other blog about what it takes to earn trust as a leader. (click here for the piece)

But it was an article about W.L.Gore & Associates that got me thinking about this topice. The article is well worth a read as it discusses how this company generates creativity and innovation. You can read it here.

I was left wondering - what would the NHS or a local council look like if it was run along similar lines? Answers on a post card to... (see contact points left!)

13 September 2009

What do I know?!

When I have time, I send out emails asking people for any ideas that they have come across. Many of the responses are shown below. I am hugely grateful for all the examples that have been sent to me. Please keep them coming!

But every now and then I get an email which deflates me a little. I won't reprint one I received in the last few days because - I want to keep to keep the organisation anonymous. Moreover, the email is at pains to make clear that according to the "Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005 Act, sections 4 and 12" they have not given me permission to use the information.

However, I can say that had this organisation actually had:

  • A staff suggestion scheme
  • An annual efficiency statement
  • Initiatives that have provided a benefit of around £50k
  • Success stories communicated to the communications team
  • Directors who saw it as part of their responsibility to have some knowledge about these matters...

...then the organisation in question might just be providing a better and more efficient service to its clients and local citizens.

But what do I know, of course?!

03 September 2009

Press cuttings: There must be a better way...

I've been looking at some of the functions the communication and marketing department performs and how they can be performed with less people (we're losing staff through transformation). Specifically if by changing the way we do certain things we can save time and money, or if we can do it better... (rest here)

Useful posting and indeed overall blog about Web 2.0 strategies for local govt (specifically Newcastle City Council) - thanks for the link from http://twitter.com/NewcastleCC

McKinsey report bites the dust - another example of where the small creative ideas have been overlooked?

The government says it has rejected advice from management consultants to cut the NHS workforce in England by 10% over the next five years... Sir Gerry Robinson, the businessman who presented a BBC series about the NHS, said he saw an "enormous amount of waste" and jobs should go. He added he was "infuriated" by yet another report, which cost a lot of money and "tells you the obvious".

(BBC: NHS workforce cuts plan rejected)

Many years ago, I read a book by Edgar Schein (Process Consultation Volume 2: Lessons for managers and consultants - which is still available) and it changed my approach to consultancy. In it he describes three model of consultancy: The purchase of information or expertise, the doctor-patient model and process consultation. I have discussed these points at greater length on my other blog (click here)

I make the overall point that all too often the wrong kinds of consultancy are procured - and ownership of the problems are handed over to external consultancies.

It is my ambition that this blog will assist with ensuring that more credence and resources are given over to making sure that staff (including NHS staff) are empowered and encouraged to offer the small & creative ideas that are, can and will make more of a difference to service improvement.