Publication of the Birmingham University INLOGOV report on the 21st Century Public Servant

an image of qualities that 21st century public servant will have

For many months this site has been sharing ideas and information in support of research on the 21st Century Public Servant – carried out principally by Dr Catherine Needham and Catherine Mangan with support from Helen Dickinson, Liz Haydon from the Public Service Academy and funding from the ESRC.

Today the report is published and you can download it here. 

This evening there will be a launch event in Birmingham with a range of guests and participants – including  Mark Rogers – the chief executive of Birmingham City Council – and currently chair of Solace and Sally Bourner who is leading future design work.

In his introduction to the report Mark says…

…it has become clearer and clearer to me that our raison d’etre is the business
of making (either through our own actions and/or the actions of others) a positive difference to people’s lives. No more, no less. And, if this is our primary purpose, then to be successful we need to articulate and live up to a set of values that make this likely to happen in reality.

Personally, I like empathy, respect and trust, but you’ll have your own.
All, however, should have service – implicit or explicit – at the heart of them. If we take this as our starting point, then we can indeed aspire to rule from the Town Hall – because our authority to lead comes from the community itself which we have vowed to serve.

The report’s authors interviewed a range of people involved in creating public value, locally..

We have been inclusive in our approach by defining a public servant as someone working in public services (even outside the public sector). However we have been exclusive in focusing little attention on the career development of civil servants in central government: our focus has been on the local public service workers and managers who are part of
the delivery infrastructure of public services.

And the following themes emerged…

The 21st Century Public Servant …

  1. ….is a municipal entrepreneur, undertaking a wide range of roles
  2. ….engages with citizens in a way that expresses their shared humanity and
    pooled expertise
  3. ….is recruited and rewarded for generic skills as well as technical expertise
  4. …..builds a career which is fluid across sectors and services
  5. ….combines an ethos of publicness with an understanding of commerciality
  6. … rethinking public services toenable them to survive an era of permaausterity
  7. ….needs organisations which are fluid and supportive rather than silo-ed and
  8. ….rejects heroic leadership in favour of distributed and collaborative models of
  9. ….is rooted in a locality which frames a sense of loyalty and identity
  10. ….reflects on practice and learns from that of others

For more details please download the report here and tell us what you think on this blog or on twitter using the hashtag #21cps

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