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Collaborate to share the benefits

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The most innovative public sector organisations are adopting smart collaboration with like-minded partners.

Tough times are causing organisations to change the way they operate, but there’s no need to face that challenge alone.

The most striking evidence for this comes from a report we recently produced with thinktank Localis, entitled Changing Places - how innovation and transformation is taking place in local government.

The report looks at how local government is responding to ongoing budget and service pressures, and sheds light on how the context of this challenge is evolving, with over half (58%) of respondents claiming that, more than ever, time and capacity are their biggest obstacles to success.

So, as council leaders and chief executives continue to rethink these challenges, it’s perhaps no wonder that organisations are clubbing together to learn from each other and increase efficiency.

To mark the launch of this report, we recently hosted a roundtable discussion with senior executives from local authorities including Gloucester, Luton and Wychavon together with Solace, to hear more about their experiences. A recurring theme was the strength of partnerships across both public and private sectors.

In many ways, those partners working with a broad range of the most innovative public organisations collect a lot of the relevant experience and success and are able to bring that collective experience to bear as well as acting as a catalyst for bringing ideas into action.

Julian Wain, chief executive of Gloucester City Council, put it well: “I’ve long believed that the debate about the pros and cons of the public and private sectors is age-old and simplistic. My view is that what matters is what works, and this report clearly identifies that. It reinforces my belief that the best results can be achieved when public and private teams work together.”

The picture we’re left with is one where a number of authorities see themselves as part of, and key to, a growing public service family. And perhaps it’s a strong metaphor for the situation.

Most of these bodies find themselves existing together in a similar environment with similar priorities and historically may have underestimated the value of learning from the wider innovation surrounding them.

Tim Magness, group marketing director, Civica

Special feature supplied by Civica


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