Modern public services: challenge of transformation
Produced by: Socitm Insight
This report, the first in a series on transformation, explores the reasons why local public service organisations should transform themselves.
Recognising the opportunity
There are so many reasons to transform. It could be pressure on resources, a wish to gain economies of scale, the changes in demographic profiles, or the drive for excellence. Transparency and accountability issues are increasingly important, and a few councils may be facing a major crisis of performance. Whatever the driver, there is no place for complacency. Public expectations, and the Government, are continually 'raising the bar'. Following the drive to build e-government infrastructure, we need transformation to reap the return on the investment.
Overcoming the blockages
However, change inevitably meets resistance. People may simply fear for their jobs, or the culture may be unsupportive. Perhaps the organisation fails to understand the transformational potential of ICT. Leaders must understand the nature of the resistance, and overcome it. Previous management practice and transparency largely dictates the potential for rapid change today.Culture change takes time.
Making transformation happen
Even then, transformation presents more challenges. There is no simple formula for success. Transformation demands imagination and innovation. Councils need ways to build a creative culture and unlock novel thinking. It may mean challenging long-held assumptions or working practices, or even cutting corners. For some it may mean imitating radical ideas from elsewhere: adapting and applying them to suit local circumstances.
Last modified: 19th January 2010
Executive briefing (66.81 KB PDF)
Case studies report (342.59 KB PDF)