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How we are changing

For us to be able to do what matters we need to learn what matters. We are doing this by using a different approach to changing the way we work.

Our principles - these are the current principles we are using to help us to do the work well

Our principles
These are the current principles we are using to help us to do the work well

  1. Understand the journey from end to end
    We want to know what happens from the moment someone asks for help to the moment their need is met. Where do they go? How many teams and services do they interact with? How quickly and efficiently are their needs met? We will understand someone’s journey – or system – from beginning to end from their perspective.
  2. Go in to the work
    The best way to get real understanding of how effectively and efficiently the council is operating is to go where the work happens. This could mean spending time with frontline teams, going out on the roads with highways gangs, or listening to calls coming in to understand how well our current system works and what people really need from us.
  3. No judgement
    This approach is not about blame; a bad system will always beat good people. Everyone we meet is doing the best they can with what they currently have in front of them. We know that most professionals come to work to do a good job, and most people only ask us for help when they genuinely need it. We want to understand what is happening and how our processes and procedures actually work, so that we can create something better.
  4. Learn new practices
    We want to learn new practices to help us to challenge our assumptions and current thinking, and support us to develop as professionals. This approach is about creating opportunities for everyone in our organisation to follow their own learning journey and learn new practices for leading.
  5. Create safe spaces for authentic conversations and honesty
    Change is always challenging so we need to create opportunities for everyone to be able to have honest and open discussions about the current system, their personal learning and the organisational learning as we test new ways of working. We can do this through learning practices to express ourselves and support each other, and through building trust.

This is a learning process, so more principles will be added as we learn more about what works.

A different approach

The method we are following has four stages: understand, proof of concept, prototype and make normal. This approach is iterative. We will keep going back to get more understanding and starting the process again – constantly looking for ways to learn more and improve the way we work.

A different approach - The method we are following has found stages:


Learn about the problem

  • How do services feel for people using them and working in them?
  • What is the system and how is it currently working?
  • Why these things are happening?

Proof of concept

Learn what is possible and effective

  • Where is the best place in the system to test new ways of working?
  • What do we want to test and how will we measure the difference?


Learn what is efficient

  • What works?
  • What do we want to scale up?
  • How will we keep measuring improvements?

Make normal

Learn what is sustainable

  • How do we make sure that this new way of working is sustainable and works for everyone?