Mark Rogers of Birmingham City Council on 21st Century Public Servants

Mark Rogers paraphrased thoughts at the launch of the report….  First a video recorded at the event..

He says…..

This is a good piece of work, it’s academic and accessible, it means that busy people can read, it also has a fantastic preface.  I’m going to speak both at the council chief executive and as President of Solace.

Five key points/opinions…

1 Public policy on the role of local government mean wr have to change the paradigm of leadership.  Time for a review of how we lead public services. We are not looking at riding out a storm anymore, we are looking at something completely different.  There is no justification for stasis – which will be fatal.

2 The dynamic of power is changing anyway – and he cites Catherine Howe of public-i on inspiring him to help understand this.  centralised authority is no longer the way to do business. We are moving into a networked world.  Th Arab spring was a revolution organised on facebook and publicised on youtube.  (this doesn’t mean I’m advocating revolution) but if we don’t acknowledge the power of networked power we are missing a big trick.

3 This is a post managerialist era and what does that mean. In the 90’s and the noughties – we learnt how to game, we thought restructure was improvement and we thought leading was telling people what to do.  That is utterly redundant now. It is no way to lead. We have to be proper public servants to reform public service.  So there is not just a primitive drive to serve the public but that should be a primal drive.

4 I see many people are interested in the power of values based leadership.  Not just in the public sector but voluntary and public.  It connects us to communities and individuals.  The reputation of politics at an all time low,  those working with politicians (more ceredibility locally than nationally) are affected by that.

5 Re Birmingham:  It’s relevant here because we have yet to develop a conherent approach to the way we serve communities.  We are talling about what are the values that we want to commonly extol in Birmignham and how does that mean we will behave.  The research creates a frame for us – it should act as a reference book or guide for further thinking in the council.  We may not adopt it all but it helps us think through the changes in the organsiation.

One final challenge….

This is about all of Birmingham – what do the leaders across the city charged with making communities better do together.  Can we turn the dialogue of values from the council and make it city wide.

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