Sharing experience

We’ve had some fascinating discussions this week, and I thought that it might interest you to read about a couple of them.

I met with Anthony May and Paula Mullin of Nottinghamshire County Council, following on from Philip Atkins’ meeting with their Leader, Alan Rhodes.  It is always useful to listen to people who are in the same business, and it was fascinating to learn how Nottinghamshire were tackling a similar problem set to ourselves.  The answer is similarly, but with some interesting differences. They don’t enjoy the same modern offices that we do, but their approach to digitise working is something that we will follow up on.  Additionally, they are interested in our Business Plan, and we can probably learn from their approach to adult social care.  We’ll follow up with a joint SLT session, focussed on the issues that we can learn from each other’s experience.  As I said recently at our monthly Business Brief session, a lesson isn’t truly learned until you have changed something for the better.

This week’s Chief Executives’ meeting at Northfield Village in Stafford was the first in which we have gone somewhere out of the office, but in the business, as an old friend who ran some very successful businesses used to put it.  It was a useful session, in which John Tradewell gave a thought-provoking presentation on Public Sector Reform, a wider theme than local government devolution.  More to come here, I’m sure, but the good news is that there was more agreement than argument on the way ahead.

Lastly, the plans for the consolidation into SP1 and 2 are moving ahead well.  For me, this is more than getting everybody in Stafford into the modern working environment.  It is about making the most of the technical opportunities.  That is why we are regarding it in two tranches; Tranche one is the move, which will be complete this year, and Tranche two is an open-ended drive to be more effective and efficient.  This will be more than new technology – if we get this right, it will pave the way for more flexible working and a more confident, agile organisation working for the benefit of Staffordshire’s residents.

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