Chelmsford City Council is a forward-looking local authority in the UK, employing c. 1,000 people. The directors of the council acknowledge the need to build commercial awareness across the organisation in the form of proactive thinking, join-the-dots, collaborative intelligence and design thinking.

At the centre of public sector innovation (as with other established and / or regulated sectors) is the issue of culture – how to ‘shift people’?

This one-day event covered communications thinking, design thinking, shifting the needle and lean startups – how to engage with the customer, build prototypes, reduce feedback loops and iterate the solution rapidly. We also introduced the basic idea of using SCRUM for rapid prototyping. Some people really ‘got it’ and threw themselves into it; some will be great innovation catalysts – and some hated it. In the new world of the public sector, what will happen to those people fundamentally opposed to change?

It was interesting to see how some principles really took hold with the people in the room – and it’s been great to see how they have been emailing to ask follow-on questions.

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Speaking In Chelmsford