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Breakfast Perspective from Mike Chitty

Well, less a perspective and more some reflections on my notes, and, many more questions than answers….

Do leaders do more than find and accrue power and then use it make a difference to what matters most?

Some groups in Leeds are perhaps ‘over-powered’ while others are ‘under-powered’. How can we go about making sure that every individual, group and community accrues the power that it needs and uses it with compassion?

We don’t need another commission. We need to start a movement. How do we form an association of citizen’s capable of acting on what matters most in the city? Or perhaps many associations? How do we help people to find others who share a common cause and help them to be powerful and compassionate? How do we build an association of associations? Can we engage our endowment of community organisers to help?

Power without compassion is a dangerous beast.

Who ARE you? What are YOUR battles? Are there some battles that must be left to fight another day?

Leading across boundaries, breaking down silos. Easy to say. Never dissented from. Rarely done. Why? Perhaps your followers are actually doing the things that you REALLY value? Our words and our actions are perhaps out of whack?

How can we amplify, add power to, what is already going on? To citizen-led projects. Perhaps the first step is to create awareness of such projects, then to show real interest in them. So let’s start to map some here.

Public sector leadership can feel like leadership inside ‘the beast’. The civic spaces outside of the beast are open to us. How do we build better connections between ‘localities’, centres of civic common cause and the public sector?

Wouldn’t it be great if we all spoke the same language in relation to leadership in the city? We all use different competency frameworks, use different words to describe the same thing and same words to describe different things. Do we need to work towards a shared language?

The public sector generally is working hard to ‘involve’ citizens at the moment. We have Leeds City Council’s Citizens’ Panel and NHS Trusts are busy building their membership bases. Can we go beyond involving citizens in the agenda of the public sector and perhaps seek to involve the public sector in the agendas of citizens? Do we have to offer citizens multiple points of access to influence public services? Is there a smarter way?

The inverse care law – even when we standardise for levels of need it seem that those in our poorest communities get less care than those in more affluent ones. The same feels true for education and perhaps many other public services. How can this source of inequality be tackled?

How do we develop a system where a wide set of stakeholders drive development in the city rather than policy makers?

We have seen the banks and the supermarkets successfully privatise labour by getting us to do our own banking online and to check-out our own shopping. Are there further opportunities to privatise labour in public services?

How can we make the most of the ‘space’ that has been left to us?

 Mike Chitty

Mike Chitty is a freelance consultant on enterprise, entrepreneurship,leadership, management, strategy and community.

3 Responses

  1. Jamie Saunders

    Sue Goss – Making Local Governance Work
    Making Local Governance Work: Networks, Relationships and the Management of Change (Government Beyond the Centre)

    > Interplay of lives/organisations, hierarchies, markets and networks – existing and emergent – and ‘white space’ between them – ‘socio-ecological system’ – multi-scale, multi-level, multi-faceted governance …

  2. I am impressed with the progress already evident in this project through getting people in leadership roles together in order to promote some common-sense thinking about issues that affect us in the City of Leeds.

    If I may offer another example, I am setting up an event in June to examine the possibilities of Digital Service Development in Health and Social Care. Please see http://digihealthcon.wordpress.com/

    I’m doing this because the communities we have in Leeds have such expertise in both digital (see our recent Digital Festival http://www.leedsdigitalfestival.com/) and in engagement and involvement of patients, carers and service users in our Health and Social Care sectors. But there is much more we could do to bring these strengths together, and address challenges in transformational service design and delivery at a systemic level, together.

    But as a single individual working within civic space, my impact is inevitably limited unless I can engage others to work alongside me as partners. So it is with gratitude that I find my initial idea has been taken on by some of our City’s leaders, the challenge accepted.

    If you would like to come, please see http://digihealthcon.eventbrite.co.uk/ where tickets are available, including a number for people on low incomes for a donation. Together, we can.