Leadership Centre for local government

Learning from the Total Place pre-pilots
Cumbria, Norfolk and Suffolk
Lesley Cr...
Executive summary

    Background to the programmes

    The Leadership Centre for Local Government has supported three la...
We have all known for years that if we could work and think better
    together across boundaries of organisation, communi...
Sharing the learning
    Each of the pre-pilot programmes share some            ‘People need to know that this work is not...
‘As facilitators we need to let go a little bit and give space   sound so simple but they are profound and
    for others ...
Building relationships & growing trust
    ‘We have grown in trust on all sorts of levels – we        ‘Trust is the bigges...
really and wondering what we could possibly learn         when people from different backgrounds,
    from visiting people...
‘I was interested to know about the experience of the       •	 Public	Service	Leadership	Board	Norfolk	–	will	
    gypsy a...
‘We learned from Calling Cumbria and the work              ‘Over 200 leaders in Norfolk have shared an
    we have done si...
Calling Cumbria
     Calling Cumbria emerged from a ‘deep dive’ about      ‘It’s not about structures it’s about relations...
•	 The pooling budgets between the PCT and               service changes to meet people’s needs.’
        Social Care has ...
     Engage, Aspire, Perform in
     The LEAPP programme had 3 broad objectives:   ...
Learning from the programme
     People recognise that they need to do things
     differently if they are to capture the ...
The lives we lead: Suffolk                             What has happened/is happening?

     The Lives we Lead began in Ja...
‘Six months ago social enterprise was not on the      ‘Accommodate difficult questions and challenges
     agenda and now ...
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Pre-pilot learning report


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Pre-pilot learning report

  1. 1. Leadership Centre for local government Learning from the Total Place pre-pilots Cumbria, Norfolk and Suffolk Lesley Cramman, Nov 2009
  2. 2. Executive summary Background to the programmes The Leadership Centre for Local Government has supported three large-scale programmes since summer 2008. The first of these, “Calling Cumbria” was the first programme of its kind to create a space for the conversations that matter to happen across a whole county. This intervention has been called ‘a soft intervention for hard outcomes’ – through building the right conditions for relationships to flourish, services will improve. Two more programmes followed in 2009: “The Lives We Lead, The Leaders We Need” in Suffolk and Norfolk’s “LEAPP” (Lead, Engage, Aspire, Perform in Partnership). Although each programme had a different context, design and purpose, they shared common principles of encouraging trust, developing a better understanding of leadership, innovation, learning, and whole-system transformation. Key learning points Following in-depth interviews with 20 participants from across the pre-pilots, the following key learning points from this type of work have been identified: • Creating positive and supportive environments for participants • Building relationships and growing trust • Learning to collaborate • Fostering innovation • Finding new ways of working • Learning about ourselves as leaders What happened next? In Cumbria, relationships are different and meetings between partners are more productive. A Cumbria Leadership Forum has been established, and partners are also supporting a new initiative called Local Links: one-stop shops for services around the county. Partners have also adopted a holistic approach to local problems called Together We Can, which brings professionals from a variety of services together to help a particular area with everything from pot holes to stopping smoking. Cumbria PCT and Social Care have pooled £3m budgets to develop personalised domiciliary care – recognised as leading practice in the UK. Shared services between the County Council and District Councils are also being investigated. Norfolk now has a Public Sector Leaders Board that can support partnership working, including shared services, which is making rapid progress. North Norfolk and Great Yarmouth are working together on revenues and benefits. Partners report that finance officers are coming together more frequently to work on common issues, and the Norfolk HR network is helping spread the learning from LEAPP. Suffolk have recently held an Innovation conference attended by over 250 people. The programme of leadership development that began in Suffolk CC has been extended across all LAs and third sector partners, and the programme’s Leadership Collaborative is being considered as an alternative to the current Chief Executive’s Group. A host of initiatives have also sprung up around innovation and collaborative working. 2
  3. 3. We have all known for years that if we could work and think better together across boundaries of organisation, community, geography and finance we would be in with a very good chance of creating far better public services. We know at many levels there is far more that unites us than divides us but somehow it has been difficult to create a space where people can come together to learn new things, unlearn the things that are unhelpful and create barriers, hold meaningful conversations and deepen understanding. What we could gain from the recreation of our relationships is enormous – better services that people actually want at a lower cost. We started this work with telling stories – stories These programmes were all different from one about what has happened over the last few another in design and purpose but shared to some months which has made a real difference. This extent some common principles: short report summarises the stories and learning from the three ‘pre-pilots’ which have paved the • Build better relationships and grow trust way for Total Place. • Develop a deeper understanding of what leadership needs to be in these uncertain In summer 2008 Calling Cumbria became the times first programme of its kind to create a space for • Learn to innovate in the re-shaping of public these conversations that matter to happen across services a whole County. Enthusiasm was generated, latent • Make learning central to the work energy released and this created the environment • Create the conditions for change through for people to come together find common ground whole system transformation and ambition to make the changes that would lead to better working across boundaries of all None of the pre-pilots set out to create a big- kinds. This intervention has been called ‘a soft bang intervention with instant results. They set intervention for hard outcomes’ – through building out to create a whole systems change that would the right conditions for relationships to flourish reap some visible and immediate rewards, but services will improve. mostly they aimed for long term and sometimes unexpected outcomes. The challenge for all was After the success of Cumbria followed two other to create environments where leaders could programmes – The Lives We Lead, The Leaders come together and develop common ground We Need in Suffolk and Norfolk LEAPP. The and ambition and to create their own pathways context for the work in Norfolk and Suffolk was, through the very complex, messy and uncertain and still is Local Government Review (LGR) which world towards better and lower cost services. caused some disturbance in their systems and recognition that the public sector needed to build This report is based on interviews with 20 relationships and connections to enable them to participants with a variety of roles in each of the think and work differently and positively regardless places. What follows are the common themes to of the LGR outcome. emerge about what has been learned and gained throughout the programmes and what it is to do this kind of work. 3
  4. 4. Sharing the learning Each of the pre-pilot programmes share some ‘People need to know that this work is not easy – it has similar principles but were intentionally different its ups and downs but we need the grit in the oyster – if it from one another. It is a common mistake was all smooth going it may not be as powerful.’ to expect that a particular model or body of knowledge will fit simply into every situation in ‘We didn’t know where this was taking us at the every place; this has been tried time and time beginning and we didn’t understand it at all- our thinking again in failed change programmes and we know it was linear but once we got the hang of it, it seemed so doesn’t work -one size does not fit all. We have to obvious’ engage the whole system of the place in thinking about what makes sense to them. Knowledge, ‘We struggled a great deal with the ambiguity of the insights and actions are co-created by people programme at times but this is part of the learning and thinking and working together to find answers and we had to grapple with it. Many people had expected a new and better ways to do things. straightforward course and were quite shocked that they had to build relationships and go out to talk to people Working in a connected way across organisational – this is a deep kind of learning and highly experiential and sometimes geographic boundaries is which means you have to experience it and reflect on the difficult, and this unknown territory can feel very learning.’ uncomfortable at times. Looking at organisations and places as living systems rather than machines ‘There may be quick wins but the real changes take can help us identify processes which can support longer’ leaders in this work. ‘Try always to look at the whole system, and how it works Chaos is an essential component of life and it is and where the blockages are – recognise when you are what all living systems go through in the process part of the problem and don’t blame other people –just re-creating themselves. Chaos can be seen as improve what you do.’ the time when people are confused and do not know what to do – they feel overwhelmed with ‘The barriers that exist between professions can be even information to make sense of, performance more difficult to bridge than those between organisations indicators to achieve and changes to make. If we and we need to find ways to address this otherwise real are able, with appropriate support, to move into changes won’t happen. and stay long enough in this place of not knowing, we can let go of our certainty and allow new ways ‘Business works better when you feel you are entering of thinking and feeling to kick in, and we can find a room of friends – that’s not to say we all agree on new ways to operate. everything but when you know you share some values and experiences you can disagree better.’ It can seem as if these programmes happened as if by magic, but they are the product of highly skilled ‘Accommodate difficult questions and challenges and be programme leads and facilitators working together prepared to champion the cause.’ and with people in the three places, through the inevitable uncertainty and chaos that lead to ‘Reflection is key to the process – it is where people new insights, connections and ultimately better learn about the process. We need to take time to do this services. individually and together.’ Each of the pre-pilots has generated a huge ‘Put the energy in up front and get as much support and amount of learning about what it is to do this new signup from everyone as you can.’ kind of work. Here are some of the key learning they would like to share: ‘Listening to people and showing respect as they expressed anger or frustration quickly allowed people to move on into a more positive mindset. We need to recognise this as an essential part of the process.’ 4
  5. 5. ‘As facilitators we need to let go a little bit and give space sound so simple but they are profound and for others to join in. As the process unfolds the facilitator really change the ways we now work. So I’d now needs to offer help, guidance and structure but the tapers say that creating a good environment for us to quickly as people ‘get it’ and begin to take control for work and explore and learn together underpins themselves. They have to run this not us.’ everything positive that has happened.’ Cumbria ‘This kind of work opens up out hearts and minds to new ways of doing things – a new conversation is emerging.’ You only get one chance to make a good first impression and in this kind of work, where we are inviting people to join us on a journey that will ultimately help to re-shape public services but What happened in the three with a very different approach, it can be difficult to achieve. pre-pilots? Learning from the pre-pilots shows how important Each of the pilots was different from one another it is to go out and meet people individually and in specific purpose and structure but there build a relationship with them before any group are a number of common themes to emerge. starts. These seem to indicate there are some vitally important gains to be had from adopting this ‘I came to the inquiry with a sense of optimism style of work: None of the interviewees would and excitement but in reality I had no idea what say that undertaking this work is easy – all would we were going to do – it all sounded very vague recognise times when the experience of being in and not at all like anything I had been involved in the process was unclear and testing. In Norfolk before. I went because I had confidence in the people sometimes struggled to understand how advisor who had come to meet me before the learning systems thinking could have any impact event. It felt like quite an emotional ride because upon improvement and development of services. I did things I had never done before and worked In Suffolk the experiential learning was often very with people I thought I didn’t see eye to eye with challenging and required people to question and but it turned out that we had more in common challenge themselves and each other in a way that I would have guessed. We just needed time to that was new. discover this.’ Cumbria The themes below are identified by the 20 interviewees from the three pre-pilots as being The process of working together in a new way is significant outcomes. Whilst each theme is not always easy and many people want clarity and important to all there will be variation in a project plan otherwise they feel uncomfortable. importance between the three places. What has emerged from the pre-pilots is that this is an organic process and we are working together to • Creating positive environments find new answers which means there will be times • Building relationships & growing trust of confusion and frustration. • Learning to collaborate • Innovation ‘In the beginning we didn’t know where this was • New ways of working going and we didn’t understand it at all – our • Learning about ourselves as leaders thinking was linear but once we got the hang of it it seemed obvious!’ Suffolk Creating positive environments Creating the environment where people can ‘The unexpected connections and relationships express frustration and irritation and be listened that I never even thought about have underpinned to and then helped to focus on what will help so much change in how we now do business. move things forward is important, and central to Discovering moments of truth- that we all care people being able to learn their way through the about the same times and we can work together uncertainties. 5
  6. 6. Building relationships & growing trust ‘We have grown in trust on all sorts of levels – we ‘Trust is the biggest gain. We are in a much better know each other and can now act quickly to do place now. - we have established a huge amount things. I know that if we do things which don’t of trust and belief in each other.’ work out we will be forgiven – this makes change Suffolk and innovation so much easier and more likely to happen.’ ‘Now we know each other and have much much Suffolk better contact and relationships we are really moving quickly on things I would never have Learning from the pre-pilots shows that if we envisaged we would even attempt.’ help participants to approach problems with an Cumbria openness to looking at issues with a different perspective, spanning organisational and geographic boundaries and hierarchies, then Learning to collaborate energies can be released to make real and lasting changes to services. To get to this point we need Collaborative working is the sharing of knowledge to build positive relationships and grow trust. and information, mutual support between These are not an add-on or a nice to have; they individuals and between organisations. The underpin real and lasting positive change. This can potential for greater integration or co-ordination happen surprisingly quickly if we create the right can ultimately produce better services at reduced conditions for people to work together on issues cost. Interest in what collaboration means and learn more about one another as people. and how to do it is growing, partly due to the economic down turn and the need to reduce As we all know, it is easy to come to conclusions costs. Collaboration offers opportunities for diverse about people based upon very little evidence and groups of people to think and create new insights exposure, and before we know it the behaviours into problems and issues together and find novel we expect become self-fulfilling. When the pre- approaches and solutions which can result in pilots brought people together to do real work they better services and less cost. offered a new environment, a new conversation and a new opportunity to develop relationships At the heart of collaborative working is getting and understanding. It is unlikely that everyone value from difference. Working collaboratively arrived with an open mind and a willingness to demands that we learn to share control and collaborate but over time this culture developed to sometimes give it away, learn from one another, a large extent across the three places. trust partners to deliver, take risks, listen well, be open to changing how we see things, be optimistic ‘I had always thought that we could never really see about what can be achieved and share knowledge, eye to eye on anything because we had been in power and credit . Easy to write and difficult to do. so many meetings where we disagreed and I have to say things got heated sometimes. I was a bit In the pre-pilots there has been an emphasis on disconcerted when we ended up in a group together people working and learning together, sharing an and thought about changing the group I was in. I experience and then reflecting on the learning and am so pleased that I didn’t and that we were able considering what needs to change in the light of to work quite intensively together because we both the new insights. In this situation new knowledge realised how similarly we see things and that our can be created within the population where previous problems had been around us both trying members interact by sharing experiences which to get the best for our individual organisations . Now can lead to new ways of looking at situations. we both see things from a very different perspective – that of the customer and that has helped us find a ‘I’d say that going out with colleagues to meet way of working that is not only very positive it is very people in situ, was incredibly valuable. People are productive and will result in better outcomes.’ still talking about the changes that came about Norfolk from that apparently very simple piece of work. We went off in the bus feeling a bit underwhelmed 6
  7. 7. really and wondering what we could possibly learn when people from different backgrounds, from visiting people we thought we already knew. organisations, places and mindsets come together The bus on the way over was very quiet because to talk about areas of interest, as these offer new we thought we were doing something we always perspectives which challenge current thinking and do, and on top of that we were going with people practice. Exploration is a key part of the process we thought we didn’t really like or have anything and through exploring novel combinations of in common with. Let me tell you that the bus on insights and ideas the possibility of innovative the way home was full of noisy voices and people solutions increases. really discussing what they had found out and how important it was to how we saw things. We found ‘A few of us decided that we wanted to know more out that we had lots of shared values and ways of about the economy and what we were doing in looking at the world and that we needed to work Norfolk to encourage aspiration and helping people together differently to make things really change to be entrepreneurial. We were very unsure about .From then on a lot of us have worked closely talking to people cold and then asking them to together in a new way and we still are.’ draw rich pictures of how they saw their lives but Cumbria we knew we would only learn if we just did it. We got over 50 pictures and people were very happy ‘The visits were a very important part of the to talk to us. We came back to the big challenge process. We arrived at the community centre group with some deep insights into what people knowing that something was going to happen but need but also if we thought about our services didn’t guess what. We went out in small groups differently and really worked together across the to spend the morning with people who live in the usual boundaries we could make such a positive area – some of us went to visit a Children’s Centre, difference for people.’ others went to a Family Carers group or a centre Norfolk for people with drug and alcohol misuse problems. It was a profound experience much more so ‘We came into the room for the first time – it was a than I would ever have predicted – we went as school library which we hadn’t expected but it was people not job descriptions and that made a huge a good environment. This was the first meeting of difference. We talked to people about their lives – the Leadership Collaborative and we didn’t have a this wasn’t a consultation it was a conversation. I clue what to expect other than to be open minded. was astonished just how open people were. When Around the library were photographs of Suffolk we go back after the visits the discussions we and we were asked to pair up with someone we had were significant because they gave us all new didn’t know that well and describe what we saw insights not only into people’s lives but also where in the photos. I knew some of the places very well our services were helping and where the missed but it really made me look differently at the place, the mark. Our afternoon then focused on design through new eyes almost, and see what other and prototyping what new services could look like. people might see. From day 1 I began to This was a very very important day.’ see things differently which was the point.’ Suffolk Suffolk Central to all of the pre-pilots was the need to Innovation ignite purpose and release energy around issues through identifying the questions that people Experiences from the pre-pilots show that cared about and were curious to explore. Good innovation is likely to emerge through the novel questions stimulate imagination and help people combinations of ideas, knowledge and insights to focus on the future and what they want to of people. Value is created as people explore the know more about. Some of the pre-pilots found possibilities of their insights with people outside the that questions moved them into unknown territory group and gain added perspectives and insights which stimulated the need to move into inquiry which deepen knowledge. The more people work mode. Other kinds of questions can re-connect in new and unusual ways and learn to collaborate people with their vision and purpose and can skillfully with people from different backgrounds, release the energy that pushes them towards the better. Innovation is more likely to happen creating the future they want to see. 7
  8. 8. ‘I was interested to know about the experience of the • Public Service Leadership Board Norfolk – will gypsy and traveller communities in our county. We take the place of the LGA in Norfolk and wider made contact with people in the communities and membership.( Norfolk County Council + the learned a great deal about how things really work and 7 District Councils, Broads Authority, Norfolk the lack of knowledge most of who are not part of PCT, Great Yarmouth & Waveney PCT, Norfolk these cultures – I found out how little I really knew and Constabulary. understood. We met with people in the communities several times and through this I found myself growing increasingly angry about how people were treated. I Learning about ourselves as leaders suddenly remembered why I came into this work in the first place and it has made me feel energised to Leadership and learning has been central to all of the change the way things are. It’s almost like being at the pre-pilots but has been lived in different ways. beginning of my career again except now I have a bit more clout to do something about it.’ • In Norfolk the programme focused on the type Norfolk of leadership needed in whole systems change through teaching thinking skills to apply to themselves as well as the place. New ways of working • In Suffolk participants joined the Leadership Collaborative where they developed new skills Improved relationships and new ways of working are and gained new insights through experiential the hallmarks of this way of working. Time after time learning, to enable them to work and deliver better people from all of the pre-pilots point to a change in results across organisational boundaries. Regular how they connect, share information and do business. coaching for LC members gave an essential New ways of thinking are emerging and with this the reflective space as well as an opportunity to recognition that some of the existing organisations and receive feedback. partnerships need to be retired or re-shaped. Whilst the pilots differed from one another in New structures are emerging as a result of the new various ways each of them provided opportunities ways of working people have been exposed to in for participants to take time to be conscious of the pre-pilots. What has become increasingly clear themselves as leaders and to reflect upon their is that relationships are key to high performance and behaviour, learning and performance throughout the changing services and some of the old structures will programme. not be useful in sustaining new ways of working in a cross organisational boundary way. What is clear is that this kind of work offers the opportunity for people to learn who they are and how Through experimenting with new ways of working in they really work – they learn how the system works the pre-pilots an appetite has developed for keeping and to see the interconnections that exist. They also relationships strong, simplifying structures and learn about what works and what does not work for widening membership in various for a. New structures people in the communities they serve – with these are developing which symbolise this new way of insights they can then look at services and consider working. These include: how to re-shape these to meet need. • Cumbria Leadership Forum –membership will Cumbria has launched a new Leadership Forum for include leaders from 7 local authorities Chairs of the Public sector and Calling Cumbria is credited with NHS Cumbria, National Park, Police Authority & creating the environment and relationships for this to Cumbria Association of Local Councils. [this is an be possible. evolution. Cumbria began with ‘network Cumbria’ and then evolved into the Leadership forum] • Leadership Collaborative – Suffolk. Will continue its work and has merged with the Performance Management Group. 8
  9. 9. ‘We learned from Calling Cumbria and the work ‘Over 200 leaders in Norfolk have shared an we have done since that we are all in this together experience of learning to lead differently and think and that we can work very well indeed when we differently and this has enabled a lot of us to recognise and value what other people do and what change how we think about ourselves and how we their motivations are. I think one of the most important act as leaders. We need to be authentic –for me things I learned as a leader is the need to be self- that means being and knowing myself warts and aware, be patient and listen more than I speak!’ all. Knowing what I stand for and believe in. That Cumbria self-knowledge helps when there is lots of change some things like values are constant which I think ‘We are developing a leadership Academy at UCS is important. It also helps me to recognise that I’m which is very exciting and positive. This wouldn’t not perfect and that’s ok – although I do take my have worked if we had not had Lives we Lead and development very seriously. I want to be the best a space to grow as leaders together.’ leader I can be.’ Suffolk Norfolk. ‘I have learned that there is no one style of leadership and that we need to be ourselves in the role.’ Suffolk 9
  10. 10. Calling Cumbria Calling Cumbria emerged from a ‘deep dive’ about ‘It’s not about structures it’s about relationships’ leadership of places run by the Leadership Centre in 2007. A group of leaders in Cumbria wanted ‘We are really trying hard to think about things to move on from the frustrations generated by very differently and look at the impact of actions possible local government reorganisation.The beyond our own organisations and across the aim of Calling Cumbria was to make the strategic whole of Cumbria – this is big change. We couldn’t partnership the doorway to doing more together ever have envisaged that we could move as far for the people of Cumbria. and as quickly as we have – we really do work together now. I was pleased to hear my director Calling Cumbria began in the summer of 2008. It of finance say that he was off to talk to a director offered a way for people from the public sector, of finance from another organisation to talk about community sector, third sector and interested the problems we face and try to find a joint way citizens to come together and explore new ways forward. This would never ever have happened thinking about and shaping public services in before – never in a month of Sundays!’ the county. Two Inquiries offered an opportunity for over 70 people to meet, get to know and ‘We are trying new things and want to avoid the understand one another and importantly share a cut and burn approach to cost cutting as we know common experience before coming together with it takes 25 years to restore – now we know that we over 200 people at a later event to really look at all share pretty common aims and have very similar how services might change to meet the needs of values we are in a place where we can think and people in Cumbria. act more effectively.’ ‘I get quite fed up when I hear whispers that • The Cumbria Leadership Forum has been nothing has happened in Cumbria over the last established with representatives from local year – we have done loads but of course there is authorities, NHS, Police, and National Park. still loads more to do.’ This is the most united Cumbria has been in a Cumbria very long time and offers a real opportunity to progress the work begun by Calling Cumbria. What was clear when Calling Cumbria started was • The County and the 6 district councils, the the need to re-build trust and relationships across Police, Primary Care Trusts and the National the place after the debate around LGR. It was Park are jointly supporting a new initiative also clear that to work together across traditional called Local Links which is a group of one boundaries would be tricky – it was described as stop shops around Cumbrian which provide a ‘soft intervention for hard outcomes’. That is, information on and access to all of the services by forging new relationships and re-connecting provided by partners. It is anticipated that this people not only to one another but to purpose will undoubtedly save money but it has not yet then the climate would be created for people to been quantified as the initiative is new. ask the difficult but essential questions like “how • Cumbria’s partners have adopted a holistic can we be better?” approach to dealing with problems in a street or an area called Together We Can. Over a period of a week or so a variety of services What has happened/is happening? go to a place which has been identified as needing some attention. Pot holes are Relationships are different – people report that mended, the fire service offers smoke alarms, meetings are much more productive and cordial fly-tipping cleaned up, and a ‘street doctor’ now and that trust is very evident at all levels. from the NHS is available to help with health advice such as stopping smoking. 10
  11. 11. • The pooling budgets between the PCT and service changes to meet people’s needs.’ Social Care has happened -Pooled £3m budgets to develop personalised domiciliary ‘Try always to look at the whole system, and how care. This service is recognised as leading it works and where the blockages are – recognise practice in the UK. when you are part of the problem and don’t blame • Work is happening in looking at shared other people –just improve what you do.’ services between the County Council and District Councils. • There has been valuable learning. We made real connections and real relationships. What next? Relationships are what matters. Culture change has happened at the Chief ‘If we have the relationships right we can make Executive and Leader level but time now needs all sorts of change happen. Relationships are the to be spent spreading this way of working and foundations for real and lasting changes. We need thinking to the middle managers. to remember that changes do take time and real deep change is worth investing time in getting right.’ ‘Doing the visits last year and having a shared experience was vital to shifting how people collectively see the needs people have and how our services help or don’t help.’ ‘Discovering moments of truth that we all care about the same things –it’s easy to forget that.’ ‘The pictures of us doing the work together were so important – people looked different and had enthusiastic faces. We were all given a new language to be able to talk to each other in a new way and understand each other.’ Learning from the programme ‘It seems to take ages to get to a place where we are taking everyone with us but we know we need to do this if we are to be successful.’ ‘There may be quick wins but the real changes take longer.’ ‘If you want to see things from the service user perspective you need to get out and meet people, listen to them and really understand what they tell you. It’s a gift and will help you to see how we can make things better.’ ‘We need to see all of what we do through the eyes of the service users – we need a whole approach to health, social care etc to get a real insight in the needs of people as well as understanding where we could make the best 11
  12. 12. NORFOLK LEAPP (Lead, Engage, Aspire, Perform in Partnership) The LEAPP programme had 3 broad objectives: What has happened/is happening? leadership development; creating a network of leaders and working on real issues together. I decided to call a meeting of people working in my area of the county to look at what we could Norfolk LEAPP began in January 2009 when a group do differently and or better. What I found was that of over 200 public sector leaders (local authorities people wanted to come and new conversations NHS, Police) came together to work and learn are emerging. Instead of being defensive or together over a five-month period. The underpinning protective we were able to have a very productive processes of the programme were systems thinking, discussion and surfaced problems that collectively authentic leadership and reflective learning. Local we were able to solve e.g community cohesion facilitators from various public sector organisations issues. Schools are required to work around worked shoulder to shoulder with Leadership Centre community cohesion but not sure how – we advisors to facilitate the programme and to carry on have people trained in this, a DVD and a budget the work into the future. so we are going to deliver it for them. This was really positive connected up working that gave The programme comprised: us all a real insight into what could happen if we have good relationships and think differently. We • Launch event January 2009 – where people are now looking for new ways to address other had an introduction to whole systems thinking problems. and time in groups shaping key questions around five themes. • LEAPP created an opportunity within the LGR • Five two-day Challenge workshops, each with process for people to talk to each other, learn a different theme. Participants chose the theme together and deepen understanding. they wanted to attend and of the two days • The language is changing and they are now they spent one learning whole systems thinking asking questions about how they all as Norfolk and some key systems tools. The second day might address the challenges they face. focused on developing lines of inquiry and key • Norfolk now has a Public Sector Leaders’ questions for their practical challenge work Board (rather than the LGA) which includes when they went out to talk to members of the local authorities, police, health etc. This will public. drive forward the shared services ideas and • Challenge day three. Each theme group re- rapid progress has already been made in some assembled and shared their work and spent areas. further time on developing insights into their • The shared services agenda is moving forward findings as well as deciding on next steps. quickly and making rapid progress on areas • 6th May – the ‘Big LEAPP’ event. Everyone such as IT systems, North Norfolk and Great in LEAPP came back together for a very Yarmouth are working together on revenues interactive day where they shared their work and benefits. with the whole LEAPP community. A large • The deepening and widening of relationships number of projects were identified as ‘having between LEAPP members has helped them to legs’ and would need further investment of reconnect with one another and the place. time and resource to progress them. • Finance people are coming together more frequently to work on common problems. • HR strategic partnership is working very well spreading learning from LEAPP to a wider group of people who did not attend the programme. 12
  13. 13. Learning from the programme People recognise that they need to do things differently if they are to capture the hearts and minds of the people working in the public sector of Norfolk– and see it as crucially important to get right if they are to succeed in improving public services and reduce costs. ‘We need to involve members more- getting them to have the same picture is important.’ ‘We struggled a great deal with the ambiguity in the programme times but this is part of the learning and we had to grapple with it. Many people had expected a straightforward course and were quite shocked that they had to build relationships and go out to talk to people – this is a deep kind of learning and highly experiential which means you have to experience it and reflect on the learning.’ ‘The barriers that exist between professions can be even more difficult to bridge than those between organisations but we need to find ways to deal with this otherwise real changes won’t happen.’ ‘If you can get the right people in the room in the right mental place you can do almost anything – real change can happen.’ ‘Business works better when you feel you are entering a room of friends – that’s not to say we all agree on everything but when you know you share some values and experiences you can disagree better.’ ‘We have worked with senior managers and leaders now we need to find a way to spread the learning gained from LEAPP and create critical mass.’ What next? People involved in LEAPP are working together to find ways to spread the learning and new ways of working across and into all of the organisations in Norfolk. 13
  14. 14. The lives we lead: Suffolk What has happened/is happening? The Lives we Lead began in January 2009 The The Lives we Lead programme has taken on a purpose of the programme was to: life of its own. The programme was supported through until the summer by advisers but since • Develop different and stronger relationships then they have been working with light support across public, private and third sector partners on a variety of projects of which the largest is the to accelerate improvement. Suffolk Summit: Lives we Lead – New Horizons • Improve social capital in Suffolk by making Innovation conference held on 14th October 2009 more connections across and between and attended by over 250 people. different networks and communities. • ‘Fringe Events’ have taken place across the • Improve community empowerment and county, focusing on a diverse range of topics. engagement. These events spread engagement and seed • Identify innovations in service delivery that can innovation in public services. be shared within and across sectors. • ‘Trust is the key to Lives we Lead – I now trust.’ • Improve capacity to lead in new ways and respond • Many people report that they are now looking at effectively to current and future challenges. our services from a customer point of view and • Build a sense of aspiration and optimism for it became very clear why we needed to do this the future in Suffolk. form our Leadership Collaborative visits. • There is a greater willingness to collaborate on all The Lives we Lead had three interrelated strands sorts of things and people are involving themselves of work to achieve these outcomes: learning by in work that is outside of their usual domain. doing, social research and design approaches. • The Leadership Development programme that These were reflected in the programme’s main began in Suffolk County Council has now been workstreams: extended across all local authorities and third sector partners. • Building a Leadership Collaborative of over • The Chief Executives are thinking of replacing 20 leaders from a range of public sector, third the Chief Executives group with the Leadership sector and private sector organisations. Collaborative and putting their work through this. • Community Clusters – bringing leaders • The Leadership Collaborative and performance and communities together to develop management group have merged in order to understanding and relationships which create spread collaborative working more widely across the conditions for meaningful conversations the whole Suffolk system. to take place. The deeper insights gathered • The Collaborative Cookbook – a how to guide to in this process allow services to be designed working collaboratively has been written. that really do take into account the needs and • The County Council, University and LSC have views of the community, pooled budgets and resources to develop a • Cluster Support Group – people from different collaborative strategy for skill development, organisations came together to develop their delivered through the LEAP network. partnership working and research skills through • Discussions are underway around the undertaking various pieces of work to support development of a Leadership Academy based. the community clusters. • at the University Campus Suffolk. • Conversations that Matter. A way to engage • An Innovation Strategy for Suffolk is being developed. with the wider Suffolk communities and help • Social enterprise is now on the agenda in Suffolk. inform and shape the ideas generated through • The Cluster Support Group, a cross organisation the Community Clusters. team of officers, is working on deep dive themes to identify potential for wide ranging collaboration. 14
  15. 15. ‘Six months ago social enterprise was not on the ‘Accommodate difficult questions and challenges agenda and now it permeates everything – there and be prepared to champion the cause.’ is a real buzz in the air and things have really changed. We now see this valuable and something ‘Through creating the right atmosphere for working we want –I am confident that we will move forward it was possible to work much better together – I on this.’ experienced generous support and less cynicism than I had ever imagined. We were being much ‘There is a change in the way people think and nicer to each other – I think we were bringing out work within the programme.’ the best in each other.’ ‘The skills agenda is central to many organisations ‘The afternoon after the Leadership Collaborative and now they are joining to think about new ways went out on visits was pivotal – people came of addressing the issue across the whole country back thinking differently after what they had with the expectation that services will change to experienced. Once the thinking changed in one meet new demands’. area it was easier for people to think differently about services and delivery – it all fitted together.’ Learning from the programme ‘People need to know that this work is not easy – it has its ups and downs but we need the grit in the ‘I would never have believed how quickly barriers oyster – if it was all smooth going it may not be as which had felt insurmountable not so long ago powerful.’ could be broken down- I feel we can now get so much more done through trust.’ ‘Put the energy in up front and get as much support and signup from everyone as you can.’ ‘The whole process has really made me think deeply about what do in public service – I think people need to know that they need to prepare What next? themselves for this because it isn’t always easy.’ What has been gained through the programme ‘At the beginning there was lots of ambiguity and is precious and there is a will amongst those on Lynne would say ‘’It’s an organic process’. She the programme and now the wider group that has was right – you have to go with this and be patient joined the movement through the Suffolk Summit and be prepared to be confused – you go through and other events to keep up the momentum and the murky stage and then it becomes clearer.’ not allow the energy to drain away. ‘This work creates something of real value – it Work on spreading the powerful work and learning established a foundation and put us into a better created in the Leadership Collaborative into the position to deal with cuts and work across the parts of our organisations that have not really whole public sector and create better services.’ been touched by the process yet. ‘We have the context right to make big changes and shouldn’t be disappointed that the service changes are not visible. I am confident that we are on our way with this. The shared service agendas have been very much easier because of our work and relationships in The Lives we Lead.’ ‘People believe in us still and they want us to see the world through their eyes – if we are open to this we can make our services much more relevant and effective and waste less.’ 15