Local Government Authorities Are Failing to Keep Up With the Pace of Change
Fujitsu UK & Ireland
Notes to editors: Responding to the threat
The research results have been combined with insights from Fujitsu’s executive team and a panel of existing customers and partners, to create ten tips, revealing both the kinds of characteristics public sector organisations need to foster, and also the initiatives they should launch to improve their responsiveness to change:
Strong, honest, accountable leadership
Public sector leaders need to start not by focusing outwards on the organisation, but by looking inwards. Do they themselves really accept and embrace change, or is it just an inconvenience they’re forced to tolerate?
In contrast to the “lead by fear” ethos of the ‘90s, other research has shown that innovation is best fostered in organisations that first of all establish a sense of security in their personnel. Teams who feel confident, well-managed and secure in their jobs, will be able to plan for the longer-term and make the decisions that are required to ensure responsiveness to unexpected change. Put in place good planning for the worst case and people will come up with options to carry their responsibilities through.
Empower people by delegating deep into the organisation
Working practices that emphasise delegated management and delegated decision-making foster a sense of empowerment. Most change must be met effectively in day-to-day decisions, rather than by long-term strategy. Empowered organisations tend to be more responsive to the majority of environmental change.
Be clear on the skills you need
Make sure you truly understand the market trends and citizens’ needs driving your sector in order to map out the skills and capabilities you require to succeed. If you don’t already have the necessary skills, go out and recruit them, or plan to develop them internally.
Facilitate flexible working to release capacity
When people can work where is most appropriate for them, when tasks can be simply shared, when teams can be brought together simply to solve problems, an organisation can be far more effective and agile in its response to change.
Communicate, communicate and listen
If you want to ensure the whole organisation understands the nature of key challenges and the pace of change required, effective communication is vital. Change is an evolving process that requires buy-in, whether willing or not, and many organisations fail to deliver change at an early stage by ignoring the long-term communication strategy. And communication is a two-way street. Listen to citizens; listen to your staff and listen to other public sector organisations – if you are not listening you will not hear the call to change.
The most important thing if you want to succeed is diversity across your employees. Different experiences, cultures and ages provide a range of insights that enhance an organisation’s ability to respond to change.
A robust ecosystem of suppliers
The way you work with suppliers and integrate them into your organisation is a complex situation - but it is also the difference now between winning and losing. Your supplier ecosystem can make the difference between agility and sluggishness.
The right technology solutions
Technology is not just a means to save money and reduce risk; it can be your ticket to ensuring that when you need to move quickly and in different directions you can. It’s essential that today’s leadership team has an understanding of when IT should be an integral part of organisational strategy – and when investing in IT can reshape the organisation.
Balance your visions
Ultimately being “Fit to Change” is about ensuring the right balance between your long-term vision and short -term goals. Central to this is having a defined mid-term plan, underpinned by the capability and infrastructure that allows you an “at a glance view” of the frontline. Keeping the citizen at the heart of this view should be central to public service delivery. Maintaining focus on more co-ordinated services, whilst helping to achieve national and local policy objectives and deliver cost savings is a challenge, even in less straightened times.
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Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company offering a full range of technology products, solutions and services. Over 170,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.5 trillion yen (US$54 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012. For more information, please see: http://www.fujitsu.com
About Fujitsu UK and Ireland
Fujitsu UK and Ireland is a leading IT systems, services and products company employing over 10,100 people with an annual revenue of £1.7 billion. Additionally, 1,900 people are employed by Fujitsu in its other UK operations. Its business is in enabling its customers to realise their objectives by exploiting information technology through its integrated product and service portfolio. This includes consulting, applications, systems integration, managed services and product for customers in the private and public sectors including retail, financial services, telecoms, government, defence and consumer sectors. For more information, please see: uk.fujitsu.com
Date: 11 December, 2012