The View From Day 108..

My first three months as Chief Executive at WME have flown by and I feel I have clarity over the direction I am now taking, for 2019/20. During my first week at WME I set out some key objectives for my first 90 days, and I did a detailed summary against my progress against these for our Management Board in June – on day 108 to be exact and you can read that here.

I have packed a great deal into my first 3 months, I’ve lived on the road, having visited a significant number of our LA’s in the Region and I very much appreciate the hospitality and time spent with me to understand your challenges and get some initial feedback on what you want to see more of from WME. I have already started to put some of this into action, where there have been some ‘quick wins’ we can make to support you.

I have also made trips to Manchester (home of North West Employers), Winchester (home of South East Employers) and Taunton (home of South West Councils) as well as London several times for NARE (National Association of Regional Employers). I am excited by the opportunities to collaborate and work closely with our sister organisations and the LGA going forward.

A significant focus for me internally at WME has been on restructuring the organisation, to ensure we are ready to deliver a new Corporate Strategy in 2020. The current structure was outdated, role profiles were cumbersome and did not reflect how individuals need to work, there were some significant capacity gaps and a need to address a budget deficit.  After a period of formal consultation with the team and a genuine focus on hearing their voice, our new structure has been finalised and implementation commenced.  The new structure is available to view here. Notable differences are that we have moved from having four Heads of Service, to two Directors, with a wider spread of corporate responsibilities sitting with three Principal Consultants. As an organisation we will be seeking to make ourselves more agile, by implementing a matrix management structure, role hierarchies and appropriate performance and talent management practices. We will share with you updates as and when people are appointed into posts and the first new role that is out to advert is the Director of HR, Membership and Corporate Services which you can view here.

Looking ahead to the remaining 9 months of the 2019/20 year our focus will be on the future workforce for our public sector employers. My vision for our 2020 to 2025 corporate plan will set out:

  • A clear membership offer for our shareholder members
  • A revised membership offer for our associate and corporate members
  • A clear set of additional ‘bolt on’ membership services
  • Refreshed objectives for delivering our vision
  • New areas of growth and focus for the organisation
  • A clear timeline of events and networking sessions, working 18 months ahead
  • A new approach to our ‘shareholder reward’

In addition to the service focus we’ll also be taking time to consider how WME operates:

  • Our governance arrangements and constitution
  • Our business and commercial operating model
  • How we want to work in the future
  • Where WME will be located

Looking to the future – The rest of this year will for me, be focused on the future workforce and needs of our public sector employers.

My vision for our 2020 to 2025 strategic business plan will set out:

  • A value driven membership service offer for our shareholder authorities
  • A refreshed membership service offer for our associate and corporate subscribers
  • A set of ‘optional’ membership services to give the customer more choice
  • Refreshed objectives for delivering our vision of a stronger public sector workforce
  • New ‘added value’ service areas of growth and focus for WME
  • A calendar of events and networking sessions, working 18 months ahead to enable better forward planning for all
  • Securing the best return on our ‘shareholder reward

In addition to a focus on our core services we’ll also be reviewing our operational practices to ensure they remain robust and fit for purpose, including;

  • Our governance arrangements and constitution
  • Our business and commercial operating model
  • How we want to work with you in the future
  • Where we need to be based to be most effective WME

It will be a huge undertaking and will commence with our ‘Big Conversation’ consultation exercise that will run from September through to December 2019. There will be a survey to all of our stakeholder groups along with some Regional and Sub-Regional sessions to join to give your input about what you would and how you would like to see WME work.

We will be seeking to work with a group of WME Influencers as our sponsors and this group will be formed of Chief Executives, Elected Members, Heads of HR and our Associate Consultants to shape our new Strategy and look to launch it in April 2019 – so please do make sure you take the opportunity to have your say later this year.

#BigConversation

Leave a Reply