Scrutinising Digital

I had a chance at the recent LocalGovCamp to find some like minded souls (including the wonderful Dave McKenna) with whom to explore a question that has been interesting me for a while: how do you reconcile 21st Century approaches such as Agile with the 20th century style governance that exists within local authorities. For…

Notes from TEDxSkoll

Some thoughts immediately after attendance at TEDxSkoll in Oxford on 7th April. Wonderful new website of the day http://www.dailyoverview.com/ and @doverview – go look! Food for thought of a digital variety: understanding that some of the standardised algorithms for face recognition simply don’t recognise black faces because they were omitted from the training set –…

A Partial Slee List of UKGCX

In the absence of time to do a proper blog, my (truncated to 45%) Slee list for UKGCX is as follows:  1. I was pleased with my session about the structural tensions between “agile” and “public sector governance” which has been recorded pretty well here  with some practical suggestions. I was struck by the differences…

The Growing Chaos and Complexity of Local Government

(This is based on a talk which I gave at the recent mySociety Company retreat) Summary This is a future-based look at the chaos and complexity of local government.  We are a very centralised nation but we are becoming more localised in ways which change the nature of the complexity that people have to deal…

Four Futures for Health and Social Care Integration

A few months ago I wrote a structured future scenarios piece looking at four (deliberately extreme) possible futures for health and social care integration.   (There’s also a little teaser video about it). At the heart of the paper is consideration of how the future will evolve in terms of uncertainty on two key dimensions…

Recruiting for Commercialism

This article, which appeared under the name of myself and Veredus colleague Evelyn Dougherty, was first published in the MJ As we travel around the country visiting a diverse range of local authorities it is clear that “commercialism” is on the rise.  We are often asked about the practicalities and pitfalls of recruiting people with…

Four Futures of Local Government

My Guardian Professional, Local Government Network, piece about Four Futures for Local Government is here, and the more detailed paper can be downloaded from here.

Themes from the LGC Summit

I attended last week’s LGC Summit, held in Marlow, with many senior local authority folk, a few sponsors, and an impressive speaker list.  So what did we learn? As ever from these events the learnings are a mixture of points of detail and some broad themes – I’m going to try to capture the wider…

Solace Summit 2011 – Musings

Last week saw the Solace Summit 2011 – a deliberate change in format from the normal “Conference” event.  I think it worked well.  One of the key changes was the creation of a communique as an output from the whole thing.  It’s here and it’s worth a read as a snapshot of some of the…

Town Councils – 2

After my fictional blog looking back at the success of a Town Council from the vantage point of 2015 I was delighted recently when someone pointed out this – Frome Town Council’s strategic plan is written in a similar way to the blog. It would be nice to think that the blog was mildly influential in…

Guardian Public Service Summit 2011

Last year I blogged about the summit .  Here are my thoughts from this year: What is the Summit and Who Goes? The Guardian Summit is held annually, lasts two days, and attracts a good range of speakers – examples this year included  Nick Clegg, Katherine Kerswell (Kent CC), Peter Marks (CE of the Co-operative…

The Chief Executive Salary Trap

A short piece I wrote for a recent LGC section, reproduced with their permission.  All the other stories, including an analysis by LGC that shows that contrary to past trends many incoming CEs are now paid less than the incumbent, is here. Two years ago many authorities found that upward CE salary pressures meant they…