Comparing apples and pears

It’s good to see a changing pattern in the way councils and their partners are organising the design of their services to deliver the best for local communities and customers in general. I acknowledge that outcomes will be the real prize for whether

The bespoke design change has worked. Nationally no longer can you see  a transferable ‘best’ organisation design model  – it’s about a bespoke model that suits the ambitions of the board or group of politicians for their residents. So that really makes the work we do at Penna really exciting – we like the new and the innovative approaches to resourcing.

Here are a few thoughts to mull over.

We’re past the days of ‘people and place’ as silos, and actually I think the model of what’s right for the ‘local place’ has to be the key priority as long as it is designed in a way that means it all knits well with a wider regional focus. My personal view is that people and place has taken us to a position where they aren’t always interchangeable in supporting the communities as they should be  –  supporting  people and considering the socio economic drivers for a place  all support a good place  to live, work, go to school etc.

For senior managers there is a real challenge around the language of transformation (which could mean many things), target operating models and sometimes a sense of internalism, rather than thinking about what others local, regional and nationally are doing – what elements of someone else’s  plan do they want to incorporate or think about to develop our approach. There is a real need for us all to stand away from the day job and ask some questions about who else might be dealing with the same challenges – there is a good chance your resourcing consultancy will be able to steer you into some other doing good work.

Digital is the norm  –  but  getting  the right talent cross-sectorally means that the digital lead may need to be in the right organisational talent design and have a package which represents their worth in the wider market place – I’m not sure we have got this right yet.

We see mayoral areas, combined authorities, garden communities, joint ventures, community interest companies, children’s trusts, STP’s all on the landscape making it a really complex environment particularly if you are a candidate looking for your next opportunity.

For leaders and providers working in the sector there is a very increased sense of stakeholder engagement and management to make change and develop joint ventures or partnerships. This feels  a strong focus on soft skills sets – personal accountability, being influential, tactical and resilience are a must in today’s public sector world.

It’s exciting to be working with some councils and agencies that are cutting edge and working on the solutions together – it’s not the ‘old’ consultancy v client arrangement – it us working in a partnership way with trust and integrity to get the right outcome.

Just  writing  this  feels  like therapy about just how challenging and stimulating the public sector world has become – there are challenges for sure but never think it isn’t really exciting.

Article by Yvonne Skingle, Director at Penna Executive Search and PPMA National Policy Lead

(find out more about Yvonne here)


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