The power of collaboration 18 October 2018
Former Socitm president Geoff Connell has put forward a strong case for an innovation committee in local government.
Geoff believes the approach taken by Norfolk County Council, where he is head of information management and technology, shows that a lot can be achieved with a formal structure that makes a key group of councillors aware of the challenges and potential benefits of a targeted investment.
The council adopted the approach late last year with the formation of a digital innovation and efficiency committee, a move he says is already providing momentum to its efforts to move quickly in its transformation.
Speaking to UK Authority, Geoff said: “I find it to be a really effective vehicle to do things at more pace and get political and officer join-up around the digital agenda. The people who have been leading it at member level have been really positive and supportive about understanding what digital is, what’s cutting edge at the moment and supporting the challenges in the business around the use of mobile working, data analytics, assistive technologies and other issues.
“I’m not aware of many other councils having it. It’s often under policy and resources or finance, which means you don’t have the opportunity to deep dive and spend as much time on those digital enablers as you might do otherwise.”