The Church of #LocalGov change

This is an unedited ramble with a side order of hero worship.

So I’ve had a restless night. I woke from a dream where I escaped from an American religious cult. One of the 1st things that came to mind was, “that’s the public sector”.

I’ve devoted 7 years of my life to public and civil service. Not long in the grand scheme of things. Certainly not as long as the 15 odd years I meandered through financial services.

I see this dream as a reminder that I’m at a crossroads. I have an idea that’s currently the number 1 local government makers (@LGMakers) project. But I’m scared to take the leap and do it.

I could do what I normal do and delegate it. Package my idea, find it a home and wave it goodbye. But I like this idea. I really like this idea.

It’s an attempt to instil and build digital capability in the public sector. Put differently it’s an attempt to change a perceived culture. A culture where people aren’t equipped with the skills to listen to users. Where colleagues don’t know how to build prototypes. Where we can’t use them to inspire and procure change.

In affect I want to replay the early days the of the Government Digital Service (GDS). But in many public sector organisations simultaneously.

Rather than dreaming anymore, it feels like time to research. Who are the key players in the public sector that also want to do something similar? More importantly who is currently trying and succeeding (or failing).

One person who always gets my attention is Ben Welby. To sum him up in 3 words; moral, angry, football. Moral because he is a devote follower of Jesus. Angry because he is frustrated with the pace of change. Football because he seems to place Bradford City Football Club over everything but his wife and the afore mention monotheistic deity.

When people in GDS want direction on issues related to local government, they turn to Ben. You only have to read his blog posts to understand why. Unlike mine they are objective. He takes arguments apart and lays them out. He commands a position of respect for doing so, whether he realises it or not.

If I was asked to pick the leader of the Church of local government change, it would be Ben.

Okay, hero worship done.

Now whats for breakfast?


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