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Innovation in Scottish Local Government 28 th March 2008 Colin Mair, Chief Executive, Improvement Service.

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Presentation on theme: "Innovation in Scottish Local Government 28 th March 2008 Colin Mair, Chief Executive, Improvement Service."— Presentation transcript:

1 Innovation in Scottish Local Government 28 th March 2008 Colin Mair, Chief Executive, Improvement Service

2 Scope The range of innovation The bases for innovation Two case studies Narratives of innovation

3 The Range of Innovation (Quasi) Constitutional innovation: Concordat; SOAs, etc. Policy innovation Innovation in service design and delivery Innovation in management and resourcing Innovation in leadership: Leadership of place

4 The Bases for Innovation No a priori reason to assume common preconditions Balance of contextual, leadership, financial and narrative elements varies The methodological issue: Self aware actors; management of meaning

5 The Local Government Environment The Concordat and SOAs Tight financial settlement Demand and expectations squeeze: Demography, policy, etc No restructuring so….partnership, shared capacity, etc Rebalancing internal and external scrutiny NB. This is a narrative construction: Situating innovation

6 Case Study 1: The Concordat Partnership in governance Empowering local governance: Elimination of ring- fencing; Diminution of external scrutiny; Focus on outcomes SOAs: Locally developed but supporting agreed national outcomes Overall movement on Government manifesto commitments Partnership in policy review and development Guaranteed survival: No top down restructuring

7 Factors Political precariousness: Minority government – complex local government results –Mutual dependency Difficult Spending Review: Imposition -v- empowerment and flexibility Strong supporting narrative elements: Process not event; Parity of esteem; Mutual accountability for outcomes Corporate policy network: PSR and COSLA

8 Case Study 2: Shared Services Scotland Excel: Single procurement hub Recruitment Portal: All 32 councils PIN Portal: All 32 councils Customer First: Single secure customer infrastructure National Diagnostic: Generic Model: FTE allocation to core and support services

9 Factors Financial pressures; Efficient Government, etc No top down restructuring: Collaboration; economies of scale Politics of outcomes not inputs and outputs Innovation and investment support: IS and NSSB

10 Issues Description construction and narratives for change Cosmopolitans and locals: IS, consultancies, COSLA, PSR Bitner: Gambits and organisational reference Academic reach and self theorising agents

11 Core Gambits Dark clouds just around the corner The iron fist in the velvet glove Once in a lifetime opportunity: Finance as totem This is what you were always about

12 How Do We Study Innovation Actors gambits, descriptive and analytical adequacy Access, entry and independence Baselines and end points for innovation Necessity and entrepreneurship

13 Colin Mair Chief Executive Improvement Service Tel: Website:


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