Vision 100, a prestigious index of the most visionary organisations in Great Britain, has included the city council in its list for the first time.
The initiative, backed by BT and Cranfield School of Management, celebrates innovative and progressive private and public sector bodies. The unprecedented nomination for the top honour marks an outstanding achievement in turning around in council services at Liverpool.
A new top team has transformed the way the council works - putting the customer at the centre of everything it does and providing first-class services that rival the best in the private sector.
Eight city council directorates, which acted independently of each other, were abolished and replaced by joined-up local government. Executive directors now work as a team and employees are encouraged to put forward ideas and make a difference.
The accolade recognises a string of successes chalked up by the city council. Liverpool Direct, the largest council contact centre in the UK, takes over a million calls a year. The centre has grown from 13 staff eighteen months ago to 125 - and continues to expand. The multilingual service has attracted international attention and operates outside standard opening hours, including late nights and evenings, making it easier to contact the council.
The council has opened the first of a network of 12 one-stop shops throughout the city in the next three years, providing local residents with a first class service right at the heart of their community. Using new technology - unprecedented in local government, they will be the first fully integrated contact centres in the UK - so the customers needs will be met more efficiently and waiting times slashed.
The Council has also taken moves to overhaul the information technology infrastructure following years of under-investment. In partnership with BT, the Council has a vision of being at the leading edge of customer service delivery. A joint venture will put the emphasis on front-line customer care - meaning employees will be equipped to resolve problems in a place and at a time that is convenient to the customer.
The initiative is a fundamental shift in how councils operate. It will create a culture that takes the best from the private and the public sectors.
Unlike anything in local government either at home or abroad, the new undertaking is the centrepiece of the council's customer care strategy.
Councillor Mike Storey, Leader of Liverpool City Council, said 'I am delighted that we have been named in the Vision 100 index. It is a testament to all the hard work that has gone into improving services. There are already signs of customer satisfaction, but I am determined to drive through further reforms that will bring about sustainable improvement for the businesses and residents of Liverpool'
Chief Executive, David Henshaw, said, 'This is an important signal to our employees and customers and potential investors that we are serious about changing our image and the way we do business. We have to demonstrate that we have the capacity to restore Liverpool to its rightful place as a premier European city.'
The visionary organisations were graded by a panel of judges, including Sir Peter Bonfield, CEO of BT; Peter Murray, Cranfield School of Management and Mark Goyder, Director of the Centre for Tomorrow's Company.
Chairman of the judging panel, Peter Murray said, 'The judges were looking for trailblazing organisations that demonstrate dynamism and an understanding of how they keep one step ahead of the revolution in new technologies.'