Week beginning 7 June

It happened on the beach. I summarised my performance over the last three months and committed to three things I wanted to achieve next. I know that I’ve fallen short since April. There’s not one thing, just as there wasn’t a single cause. And I can’t describe what needs to change, but I know I need to step it up – and I know how that’s different. And I’d only gone to the water’s edge to clean my hands!

There was a moment on Monday afternoon when I reflected ruefully on that moment: 6 hours in and I’d achieved nothing very much. But actually that is the point: to be effective you need to be able to ignore the noise, just enough to get something important done. 

Reconnecting to the public services network has been of our challenges which has just been more complicated and painful than it looked, and probably than it really should have been. It’s featured in my goals for the week for more than a month. We got closer this week by being able to test the connection, but it’s a stretch to expect it to be completed next. 

Thanks to Kelly’s hard work we were able to advertise the two new leadership positions in customer services: our head of operations and head of customer experience. We’re aiming to create a team which can optimise customer journeys today and improve them tomorrow. We’ll combine the experience of our advisors, content designers, user researchers, service designers and data analysts so that we can learn, make improvements and measure their impact across all our customer touchpoints.

We also made available the data that we’ve recovered into the social care system. It’ll be some time before we’ve got all the tools that we need to run social services but we hope that providing access to the Mosaic application will provide greater psychological safety for staff to know that they’re making decisions based on all the available data. 

I faced an interesting decision about the document evidence store service that we’ve developed. Part of the proposal made available information over a public web address. We could have reduced the time for which this was available to a second, and whilst no one would have known, I judged that the perception would have been damaging even though fixing it means delaying the release of the service. 

I’ve also started thinking about how we could offer a structured programme to help more junior staff access opportunities for promotion. The ‘redeployment pool’ the Council created during COVID was fantastic and I’d like to discover how we could formalise this in a way that also helped put the voice of the customer at the heart of council services.