The changes forced on us in response to the COVID pandemic, has demonstrated how it is possible to rapidly adapt our business.
In the public sector in particular, new teams were created in days, that were able to respond well to a new demand. It created a new service.
In one council that I worked with, the team were ready with a new service within 2 weeks of starting lockdown. They were taking demands from those who needed food, prescriptions, emergency support, and any other issue that they had. How did they do this?
Firstly, they gathered together a set of staff that were able to deal directly with the issues that we thought would be in demand.
We gathered together in a large room, led by a supervisor. We had no real idea what we were going to do, we just had the experience of local government support.
As we began to take demands, we worked on each one, to create workflows that corresponded to dealing with that demand. We learned what worked, and we learned from what did not go so well. We did this together, spending lots of time discussing, adjusting, communicating. We were learning.
We got to the point where we were then able to take an increasing volume of demands. We had created the operational workflows, and we just needed to develop what we were doing with a robust decision framework, guide on how to keep data safe, how two engage with hard to reach citizens, and how to adapt to changing conditions. We cerated a new set of measures.
We had, in two weeks, created a multi-disciplinary hub. We had a new way of working that was free from the constrictions of the old ways of working. And we worked together without the barriers that we would have in normal departmental silo working. Staff loved to be working in there, and they behaved in ways that they could not in their normal work environment. Gone were the prescribed work actions and meetings, replaced by working together and focus on what really matters.