Elections and Future Council – a busy week
The next few days (pretty much like the last few weeks) will almost certainly be dominated by the elections – Local and General – and my attention will be fully focused on them given my Returning Officer duties. The elections team, led ably by Rob Connelly, has been working pretty much 24/7 of late to ensure that everything goes well up to and on the 7th and, in advance of the big day, I would like to thank him and all his colleagues for their commitment and hard work: it’s very much appreciated.
And you can show your appreciation too – by voting. The Polling Stations will be open from 7.00 am until 10.00 pm this Thursday, so there is plenty of time to cast your votes.
And if you want a novel way to add to your election watching, why don’t you download WhatsApp onto your mobile ‘phone to catch all the Birmingham action. The link’s here: https://www.whatsapp.com/
Once the download’s complete, you can register for all our bulletins and, of course, the results-by-the-minute on the night itself. WhatsApp the message BRUMVOTES to 07593 166117.
There’s more information about #BrumVotes15 on our website. Just go to: http://birminghamnewsroom.com/birmingham-city-council-election-updates-on-whatsapp
Of course, it’s not all elections and our change programme, Future Council, continues to develop.
Last Friday (1 May) many of you came to the “soft launch” of the proposed replacement to the Performance & Development Review (PDR) system. The new approach is to be recommended to Cabinet later this month, but I was pleased to share the thoroughly reformed framework which we are calling MyAppraisal.
I think it’s fair to say that PDR won’t be missed. It was the internal issue that filled my inbox when I first arrived a little over a year ago, and its reform was, I think, the first promise I made to you all. Well, it’s nearly here and, between us, a much simpler and effective system has been put together.
We’ve spoken enough over the last 12 months for us all to know that MyAppraisal has been designed to take into account our focus on purpose, people and pathways and it fits completely with the values that, together, we’ve worked on since the Big Conversations kicked off last summer.
MyAppraisal is only one part of a much wider set of changes that sit under the umbrella of Future Council and, within that programme, Forward The Birmingham Way http://birmingham.gov.uk/futurecouncil
But it seems that for many of you it has a particular symbolism because, if we can deliver it in the spirit with which it is intended, then it will be the first significant point at which we can put the rhetoric of our refreshed values into practice.
MyAppraisal is specifically designed to ensure that we are supported (and, as appropriate, challenged) so that:
- We put Citizens First
- We are true to our word
- We act courageously
- We achieve excellence
At the two “soft launch” events last week I was asked about how we move beyond good words. My answer was simple. We wanted a new approach; we have jointly designed a new approach; we must now go and deliver it. It’s in your hands now as much as mine. Keep it simple; keep it clear; keep it open and honest; and keep it continuous. And when you need to, be courageous.
This is what you said we should aspire to so, through MyAppraisal, let’s deliver:
- More openness, trust and accountability
- Challenging and honest conversations
- Active performance management
- Support to develop in whatever way is best for the individual and the organisation
- A more strategic approach to management and leadership development
- Clarity of roles and clear messages throughout the organisation
- A move from a blame culture to an empowering culture
- A shift from command and control to personal responsibility and contribution
- A commitment from everyone to the “offers” and “asks” that will be defined through the employee journey
- Role modelling at all levels, especially JNC
- Accepting that a journey won’t happen overnight but is still everyone’s responsibility to complete