Post-match analysis: thoughts from the LGC Summit

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In September, nearly 90 CEOs and senior executives gathered at the LGC Summit at the University of Warwick. Here are some thoughts from some of the sponsors who participated.

The LGC Summit demonstrated the enormous contribution of local governments to places and communities across the country, and its unique ability to engage with citizens. It has made all the difference with Covid, and could do so in areas such as the healthcare crisis, climate change and our transforming economy. But local government must be treated as a leader of change, not a delivery vehicle, and given resources, power, autonomy and a voice. As integrated care, reorganization and decentralization, and incremental progress, we must continue to advocate for councils as leaders of their communities.James Arrowsmith, Partner, Browne Jacobson

I was particularly interested in new models of leadership and emerging delivery. When asked, 35% of LGC Summit room leaders said they would hire ethnographers, suggesting the need to deeply understand communities, not as transactional clients, but as empowered participants. Seventy-five percent said they would be happy their staff were working halfway around the world, a potentially dramatic move away from presenteeism. Are we seeing an explicit shift towards greater empowerment of the community and staff? With a bit of luck. It will be easier to go back to the old ways of working, but if leaders remain bold, we could see a fundamental change in our mindsets and our models of operation.
Adam Walther, Senior Consultant and Municipal Coordinator, FutureGov

Over the past year, our humanity has come to the fore: the inspiring personalities of local government leaders who have led with care and empathy throughout the pandemic, as well as the greater humanity we all serve. This includes the eight million people who rely on my institution for their pensions and savings – and to reinvest their pensions in ways that benefit them. It also includes all people served by UK local government. This shared humanity fosters collaboration, not competition. This new world cannot be about places competing with competing places or competitions – but rather each of us is clear about our social role and intends to fulfill it.
Pete Gladwell, Director of Social Impact and Group Investments, Legal & General Investment Management

The scale of the challenges facing local communities is daunting. These include addressing the ongoing pandemic, the growing demand for services, a difficult and uncertain financial and funding environment, the climate emergency and the need for new ways of working. The sector must be realistic and mature in its approach, show constant leadership and work collaboratively, especially in its relations with the central government. The speed and agility demonstrated by the local government sector to its communities during the pandemic shows that despite some very difficult years, it still has the capacity, resilience and adaptability to succeed.
Sean Hanson, Managing Director, Local Partnerships

The LGC Summit gave a platform to re-engage, understand the challenges and leadership responses to how we entered Covid and now the way forward we all seek to chart for us to bounce back and maximize our leadership roles in the public sector. Partnership and innovation are my personal views on how we seek the results we need to achieve as we move towards a post-Covid environment. We now have the opportunity to redefine the role, form and functions of the public sector, as an enabler, partner of business and community, to address new and legacy challenges – from climate and sustainability to community resilience. .
Jason Longhurst, President and CEO, UK Business Council for Sustainable Development


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