Council middle managers: dinosaurs or key innovation allies?

458 views

Published on

This presentation outlines the findings from new local government research on how politicians and senior managers can encourage middle managers to contribute more to achieving major innovations

0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
458
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
4
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Council middle managers: dinosaurs or key innovation allies?

  1. 1. Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project ©Futuregov Middle Managers: Dinosaurs or Key Innovation Allies?
  2. 2. ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project
  3. 3. Innovation = New + Relevant New ways of saving money New ways of delivering New organisational arrangements New ways of improving democracy ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project
  4. 4. • Interviews with chief executives • Focus groups with frontline employees • Interviews with leading politicians ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project
  5. 5. Middle managers’ focus groups in six councils ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project
  6. 6. Middle Managers’ Top Priority Actions for Senior Managers & Politicians ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project
  7. 7. A clear long term strategic direction & innovation priorities ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project
  8. 8. “Build innovation into strategic objectives” “Recognise that sometimes innovations are not quick wins” “Set a clear strategic direction – wider than own directorate and the council” “Identify areas where there may be opportunities” “Face realities” “What will council look like in 5 years time?” “Identify things to stop doing” “Be honest and clear about desired outcomes and stick to them” “Don’t be overambitious” “Prioritise” “Members are too geared to the next election” “Accept what the financial situation means” “Start the hard conversations now” “Put effort into the right places” ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project
  9. 9. Leadership for innovation, convincing, personal communication ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project
  10. 10. “Communicate with and engage staff” “Take concrete action to implement decisions” “Empower and trust staff” “Go for it – leap forward when you know you have got to do something” “Passion needs to be passed on” “Senior managers need to be visible, get out of their ivory tower” “We need less control, more support” “We want listening, straight talking, trust building; more open, honest communication” “Be united” “Provide clarity to the vision and expectations” “Put members’ ambitions into a realistic plan ” “Be brave & courageous” “Sell the corporate vision” ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project
  11. 11. Managers & staff involved in discussing innovations ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project
  12. 12. “Take the hierarchy out of innovation“ “Take a less top down approach” “There are too many top down briefings with no feedback” “Make time for ‘walking the floor’, speaking to staff” “Involve everyone in innovation” “Managers need to keep talking to people – not just sending out emails” “Ensure you understand the ‘mood’ of staff” “Demonstrate that you are listening” “Create opportunities for meaningful engagement” “We need more two-way, personal communications” “Consult on ways of delivering outcomes to encourage others’ views” ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project
  13. 13. Sufficient time & resources for developing innovations ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project
  14. 14. “Make time for creative thinking” “Invest to save” “Ensure there are adequate resources to deliver the agreed priority schemes” “Do less, but do it properly” “Need to allow time to think, reflect and engage” “Create more time to think & time to implement priorities” “Give us enough resources to get head above the parapet -- time away from the day job to look upwards and outwards” “Stop trying to do change on a shoestring” “Free up time, we are the squeezed middle” ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project
  15. 15. An organisational culture that supports innovation ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project
  16. 16. “Acknowledge that there is lots of innovation going on already” “Make it clear that people are allowed to fail” “We need to borrow ideas from elsewhere” “Push the boundaries, give managers the flexibility to take risks” “Allow the time to discuss & think about innovation” “Support people when things don’t go right” “Encourage creative thinking” “Be less risk averse” “Celebrate and promote innovations across the council” “Encourage more reflective practice” “Make innovation part of business planning & PDR processes” ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project
  17. 17. Corporate services actively helping to deliver innovations ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project
  18. 18. “We need to make more effective use of technology” “We need more flexibility within and across budgets” “We need more digital innovation within the council” “We need less monitoring/control – & more support” “Reduce the bureaucracy – our policies and procedures are a major barrier to innovation” “Corporate services need to think about the impacts of their decisions” “Key things like IT hold us back” “We need to make better use of social media” “Review procedures and policies so they support new approaches rather than stifle them” “We are forever being audited” ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project
  19. 19. Strong cross-service working on innovations ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project
  20. 20. “We need more joined up strategies and working between departments” Departments have different priorities and don’t think about how they impact others” “We are removing silo working – developing more shared goals” “Stop the silo mentality – things need to be more joined up” “Senior managers are too focused on their own services -- they need to be more corporate” “We need more middle managers networking opportunities” “We are learning from other services and sharing good practice” “We want more opportunities to talk/network/exchange ideas/support and share resources” ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project
  21. 21. Persistence until innovations are achieved ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project
  22. 22. “Be consistent, don’t keep moving the goalposts” “Finish what we start -- before moving onto the next thing” “Follow through, do less & complete projects” “Complete cycles – reviewing, evaluating, learning, improving – make sure there is space to do this – find simple ways to do this” “Ensure projects deliver” “Make time for reviewing and learning” “See things through more” “Set outcomes & stick to it” ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project
  23. 23. Agreement with previous research All agree about the importance of:  Clear strategic direction, & clear priority areas for innovation Leadership & convincing communication of the priorities for innovation  Sufficient managerial capacity & resources to develop major innovations  An organisational culture that encourages innovation, including tolerating risk taking Effective cross-council working on major innovations ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project
  24. 24. Areas requiring more attention? ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project
  25. 25. More citizen & service user involvement in developing innovations? ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project
  26. 26. More looking elsewhere for fresh ideas? ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project
  27. 27. More focus on partnerships & on commissioning for innovation? ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project
  28. 28. More effective delivery mechanisms? ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project
  29. 29. Middle Managers’ Development Needs? • Working in a political environment? • Leading innovation processes? • Leadership skills? ©Futuregov ©Futuregov ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project
  30. 30. Other reflections • What’s new and different? • Trust: a key issue? • Middle managers: ‘dinosaurs’ or allies? • Rhetoric versus reality? ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project
  31. 31. Conclusion Middle managers are not ‘dinosaurs’ who fervently defend the status quo. Potentially, they are vital allies for innovating senior managers and politicians. To engage them, senior managers and politicians, need to consciously, consistently and determinately take a comprehensive, strategic approach to innovation, as set out in the Local Councils’ Innovation Framework. ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project
  32. 32. Citizen & Service user Focus Culture promotes innovation Effective delivery mechanisms for innovation Strategic approach to innovation Cross boundary innovations Leaders & managers lead for innovation Clear political vision & priorities Employees skilled & motivated for innovation ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project
  33. 33. Resources The full research report on middle managers & innovation: http://www.solace.org.uk/press/2014-04-24-accelerating-innovation/ Local Councils’ Innovation Framework: http://tinyurl.com/LGIF2014 Framework Self-Assessment tool: http://tinyurl.com/LGISA2014 Summary of latest findings: http://tinyurl.com/LGILF2014 Presentations on innovation: http://www.slideshare.net/joanmunro ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project
  34. 34. Contact details Joan Munro: joan.munro@btopenworld.com Tel: 0779 2952 498 @JoanMICL Susan Biddle: sjbiddle1@gmail.com Tel: 0787 9548 877 ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project

×