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Jenny McArdle

I am so over 2016. Bring on 2017.

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I had intended to write a ‘my top highlights of 2016’ blog but, I must admit, I am so over 2016. One highlight, however, has been working with fantastic clients who continue to be optimistic, enthusiastic, and innovative, in spite of the odds. Councils have certainly earned a mince pie or two.

No matter what 2017 brings – Brexit plans unfolding, addressing ongoing austerity, or managing the lead up to and outcome of local elections – here are a few themes that look set to be high on the agenda and offer some interesting possibilities and, dare I say it, hope…

Data & insight

  • Seeing councils and public sector partners getting smarter with mining and using data.
  • Data and analytics become the domain of the many not the few.

Technology & connectivity

  • Using technology to connect with people and redefine the relationship, especially with the many groups that Brexit showed us feel disconnected and disengaged.
  • Maximising the potential of technology and robotics to improve outcomes and deliver efficiencies.  With a Nesta survey published this year, indicating 25% of people aged 18-34 would happily date a robot, it feels we have barely scratched the surface!

Collaboration & integration

  • Focusing on the human perspective – outcomes, behaviours, and relationships – to make integration a reality.
  • Creating the conditions for a networked, philanthropic community that supports independence and peer support? What role does technology play?

New roles & skills

  • Creating a new model of leadership in an integrated and delegated delivery environment. GatenbySanderson’s survey showed the majority of HR directors believe a new style of leadership is required to help them deliver a better quality of service.
  • Encouraging definition of new roles and skills in a data and technology driven public sector where traditional boundaries are no longer there.

In the usual spirit of local government, I say, “bring it on!”

See you in 2017.

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