The Total Place pilots showed that Innovation is not only possible in the Public Sector, but also that passionate enthusiasts abound in Local Government life.
With a desire to engage the multitude of stakeholders involved with citizens to ferret out duplication of effort, it was self-apparent that connecting all of the organisations and departments that provide “related” citizen services was mandatory. Total Place was an opportunity to address some hitherto untouchable ideas.
The dark cloud of Turkeys voting for Christmas is the worry that often kept my department, in the 1970′s, from looking for efficiency improvements in certain areas of government life.
Listening to Peter Bole from Kent County Council at Intellect’s meeting in Russell Square on 23rd February certainly put a stake in the ground for moving into these hitherto untouchable areas. What an inspiring story and a great talk. I sense the worry of redundancies as multiple organisations decide that their efforts are overlapping, duplicating and often competing.
Beyond the Total Place pilots lies that paradox: we can identify waste, duplication, overlap and see the potential for step changes in efficiencies, 20%+, but it will put people out of work as the only way to tie up multiple agencies is with intelligent, multi-agency, shared and distributed IT Systems. Putting the Citizen at the centre of any solution will indicate that distributed IT systems should be a part of the answer.
Will the “St Fagos” of yesteryear evolve into a “Holy Grail” of this year? Or will the enthusiasm of the Total Place Pilots fade as post election politics re-brands this initiative and delays realisation of the savings for another 2-3 years?
Today’s challenge of 20% savings in IT from Government is filling some with enthusiasm and such enthusiasm is hard to deny. It now has a momentum of its own.
For those with an initiative in their heart and the Holy Grail burned into the back of their retina, work can be fun and good for citizens and good for the public purse.
If you are wondering who or what is St Fagos, please google it…more polite that way, methinks. The mixing of metaphors is bad enough!
If you would like to know more about Total Place: