Getting out and meeting new people

It’s been a fascinating two and a half weeks since arriving.  I’m continually struck by the enthusiasm and commitment of our people including several who have taken me up on my request to stop me and tell me what you’re doing.  Without exception, you’ve spoken with passion in a way that I haven’t heard for a long time.  It’s a humbling experience, I have to tell you, and it confirms in my mind that I’m going to enjoy Staffordshire.

I visited the MASH in Stone this week with Philip Atkins.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, it’s a place where police, social services and health professionals work together to keep children and families safe from harm. It was, for me, an example of something that is genuinely greater than the sum of its parts.  There is no “them” there; everybody is “us”. This brings about a common purpose that helps us to keep children and vulnerable people safe – frankly, it’s inspirational.  The building is not great, and we will work on making it a better place to work.  That might be as simple as getting a decent coffee machine, or somewhere for staff to relax away from their desks.  It’ll be more than worth the effort.

I spent a bit of time reading the analysis of the recent staff survey, and I have to say that it squares entirely with my first impressions.  You believe in the organisation, you’re proud of working for SCC, share its values and understand the drivers for change.  The problem is in the lived experience, in other words, what happens on the ground.  You don’t always see the values being applied and improving things.  Leaders are not visible enough, not explaining change and how it affects you. Our internal communications are not bringing you along on the journey.  It’s a big set of issues, but I believe that they’re doable.

I’ve spent quite a bit of time with the senior leadership team on our strategy, and I can tell you that the change is being managed as well as I have ever seen.  Clearly, from the results of the survey, we need to explain that to you more effectively, and I will take that on. Things are already happening to make sure we act on what you told us in this year’s survey. My only request to you is that you take a little time to fill out the next survey; believe me, it’s important, and I will use it as one of my major sources of information on how we steer the organisation.

Look forward to meeting those of you whom I haven’t already met.

One Response to “Getting out and meeting new people”

  1. Dear Mr Henderson
    Our association ran a councillors training course on Wednesday 27 May in the Trentham Suite. The scheduled time was 7:00pm-9:00pm but it overan because trainer had to answer many questions. It was gone 9:45pm when the trainer eventually left Staffs Place One. Your staff working on the night were to quote the traininer “brilliant and could not have been more helpful”. Please pass on our sincere thanks to your excellent staff.
    Richard Ellison
    Staffordshire Parish Councils’ Association
    01785 277499