Posted tagged ‘Futuregov’

A day out with the NGDP Alumni

April 2, 2012

They do conferences too you know?!?

On Friday I tripped off to London to spend the day with alumni from the National Graduate Development Programme (NGDP) at the NGDP annual conference.

The title of the conference was all about serving our customers but to be honest the content was more about innovating, challenging assumptions and generally having the courage to tackle the status quo head on and deliver public services in a very different way.

We were also treated to some body language chat from guru Judi James, but more of that later.

As my colleagues did after govcamp I will detail my top takeaways below but before that I would like to make a personal comment. I’ve been finding work troubling lately. I’ve been finding it a little uninspiring and struggling to find the real energy that I used to feed off in my local government job. Therefore, I would like to thank Nick Jankel, the futuregov guys (who it was really nice to meet) and my fellow NGDPers for helping remind me of some of the amazing opportunities we still have even when things are really tough.

So, back to the conference:

Assumptions are the basis of all (most) wrong decisions

Nick Jankel’s presentation was a lot more complex than I’m about to make it seem but my big takeaway was that the best way to make better decisions is to challenge our pre-conceptions and our assumptions. Too often, we suffer from the constraints of what has always been done before and at other times our assumptions about what we are doing prevents us from coming up with any better ideas.

As Nick said (roughly):

Most failures based on assumptions that no longer fit the reality… & yet every decision/model/thought is based on assumptions.

Similarly, the futuregov guys talked about starting with blank sheets of paper to develop better ideas. Starting from scratch forces us to throw aside our assumptions and start thinking about the services people really want and the method of delivery that they also really want.

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What future for graduates in local government?

May 24, 2011

A ticket to the corporate centre?

Last week we joined the discussion of the recently downsized National Graduate Development Programme and suggested that this was going to be the start of a big debate. Since then, Impower and Futuregov have dipped their toes in the water and today one of our readers gives her analysis of the scheme and emphasises the importance of looking beyond the corporate centre when developing, and attracting, talent in the future.

 If you would like to provide a guest post on this, or any other, topic please drop us a line at welovelocalgovernment@gmail.com but not before you’ve enjoyed this excellent post.

Like many across the sector, I was exasperated but not entirely surprised at the recent news that the National Graduate Development programme (NGDP) is to face major cutbacks. At a time when local authorities are implementing unprecedented public spending cuts now more than ever it is vital that the sector attracts the best possible future leaders.

Many might be asking themselves the question, in an era of cuts is attracting graduates into local government really a priority? Surely difficult choices have to be made?

No local government officer or policy maker would argue that cuts don’t need to be made; but every ‘difficult choice’ has wider ramifications that will impact upon the sector well into the future. Key stakeholders have emphasised the need to ‘avoid the road to nowhere’ and local government as a whole has now definitely reached a critical tipping point  where it must set out a vision of where it wants to be in 10 or even 20 years time. Surely, at the heart of this must be a carefully thought out strategic approach as to how the sector will attract, develop and retain the best talent in order to advance that vision?

The attraction of the NGDP was that it attracted that inflow of talent that supports local government’s drive to serve local communities in the best way it possibly can. And of course an immense sense of pride can be taken from the fact that through schemes such as the NGDP many high calibre graduates have entered and stayed in local government who in the past may have made other career choices.

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