Organisational change in local government is fundamental to deliver positive, long lasting change focused on improving outcomes to communities and reducing costs. Enabled by best practice ways of working and a high performance culture and engaged workforce.
We worked with a progressive council whose ambition is to ensure that they focus on creating the best outcomes for residents. They knew a major change programme was needed to redesign their organisational wide operating model and ways of working which would reduce silos and integrate services. Ultimately resulting in a high performance culture.
Our role as change delivery partner over 2 years, was to support the leadership team, politicians, partners and wider organisation to make this a reality. We did this by gaining insights to understand current operations, understanding what was working well and what needed to change and why. We designed and developed a suite of change programmes that could drive better services, efficiencies and build a high performance culture and supported the organisation through its transition to its new operating model.
Our approach with this progressive council was rooted in collaboration at every stage of the change journey. Working as a blended team, we embedded a skills transfer programme and co-designed solutions with a broad set of stakeholders from leadership, politicians, staff and partners. This was enabled by a targeted communication and engagement plan we developed together ensuring participation and engagement throughout the duration of our work.
The programme was designed in 3 phases:
- phase 1: concept and shape
- phase 2: design and foundation setting
- phase 3: full implementation
Developing shared principles
The council had set its clear ambition and strategic vision for the area by the creation of its strategic plan and organisational framework. To deliver against this ambitious plan, the council recognised the need for a new organisational operating model as a vehicle that would demonstrate the steps needed to meet its priorities and how it needed to run in the future.
In Phase 1, we sought to understand the current operational state of play. Gaining insight from data sets, interviews, questionnaires and workshops, we captured an organisational-wide activity analysis to provide an informed evidence base relevant to the council.
In this phase we established a core delivery team made up of TPXimpact and the council’s service specialists bringing a one team culture. This proved an invaluable step in the change journey with senior leaders seconded for 18 months dedicated to the programme to bring organisational insight, relationships and user context.
At the outset, engagement was at the heart of the change programme, we established a dedicated senior leadership forum with the top 100 leaders, with a dedicated focus on establishing their active participation in design and delivery of change. To support this wider across the organisation we created a dedicated change agent network of 70 people to lead on change management.
Collecting all of this insight enabled us to co-develop a set of guiding principles that shaped how different parts of the organisation would work in the future to improve outcomes to residents. Key to the design was ensuring the operating model could adapt, flex and be responsive to any challenges and disruption it could face e.g economic downturns, demand on services. This led to the creation of organisational design principles to guide the transformation programme on what we do, how we do it and how it will work, all backed up by a clear communications plan developed with the leadership team.
The final part of phase 1 concluded with us developing strategic options and recommendations to design the preferred model for implementation.
Designing the ideal operating model
In phase 2 we focused on defining in detail the complex change interventions and projects needed to implement the new operating model together with the sequencing of their implementation as to minimise disruption and keep the organisation safe during transition.
We identified areas of process redesign, rationalisation of systems to remove service user pain points. We co-defined the target culture through development of a people plan framed within a set of organisationally adopted values and behaviours.
The priority foundation building blocks we supported implementation of were:
- Digital and technology capabilities - new website, migration of systems/applications to the Cloud.
- Modern working programme - deploying M365 as a productivity platform and changing ways of working to 4,500 staff
- Data and insight - putting in place business intelligence capabilities to enable the new way of working
- Programme delivery governance and building internal capacity through skills transfer.
- Integrated business planning and performance framework.
- Deep dive service reviews focused on demand reduction in adult social care, children's services and environmental services.
Taking a close look at key areas, such as adult and child social care, highways and special educational needs, we were able to surface improvements that could improve outcomes. With resident outcomes being a key focus, together we redesigned the customer contact centre into an integrated customer experience hub supported by data, insight and digital capabilities.
Making it real with implementation
Phase 3 was all about making it real and bringing the operating model to life with focus on building the solution that the council owned and took forward. All service areas within their People and Place directorates were redesigned to reset their commissioning outcomes, measures and ways of working to create an aligned, focused and purposeful team, that would deliver the strategic and organisational priorities. To further enable conditions for success we supported the implementation of newly designed strategic and enabling services to support the front line services; HR/OD, finance, procurement, policy, communications, legal, digital, technology, data and insight, commissioning support unit and customer experience and business support.
This resulted in putting in place the right people with the right skills and behaviours in the right roles with a new performance framework linking their personal and team performance to the strategic priorities.
Working together in close collaboration was key to surfacing the right pathways to deliver on the council’s ambition to improve resident outcomes, integrate services and deliver savings. Together we delivered a complex programme of projects, strengthened internal capability, improved communication and engagement of the new ways of working. Through adopting this approach the council were able to take forward further change programmes to further iterate and refine its new operating model, through skills transfer and creating confident change leaders and change agent networks.
Our latest work
Transformation is for everyone. We love sharing our thoughts, approaches, learning and research all gained from the work we do.
Encouraging residents and landlords to switch to renewable sources of energy.
Supporting the integration of North East Lincolnshire Council and the North East Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group to provide seamless health and social care.
Using flexible modern technology to support residents and prevent homelessness.