Hello PPMA members and friends

Yvonne Skingle is a Director at Penna Executive Search and PPMA National Policy Lead and she shares with us her experience about the current resourcing landscape.

“It’s good to see a changing pattern in the way councils and their partners are organising the design of their services to deliver the best for local communities and customers in general. I acknowledge that outcomes will be the real prize for whether the bespoke design change has worked. Nationally no longer can you see a transferable ‘best’ organisation design model – it’s about a bespoke model that suits the ambitions of the board or group of politicians for their residents. So that really makes the work we do at Penna really exciting – we like the new and the innovative approaches to resourcing.

Here are a few thoughts to mull over. We’ve past the days of ‘people and place’ as silos, and actually I think the model of what’s right for the ‘local place’ has to be the key priority as long as it is designed in a way that means it all knits well with a wider regional focus. My personal view is that people and place has taken us to a position where they aren’t always interchangeable in supporting the communities as they should be – supporting people and considering the socio economic drivers for a place all support a good place to live, work, go to school etc.

For senior managers there is a real challenge around the language of transformation (which could mean many things), target operating models and sometimes a sense of internalism, rather than thinking about what others local, regional and  nationally are doing – what elements of someone else’s plan do they want to incorporate or think about to develop our approach. There is a real need for us all to stand away from the day job and ask some questions about who else might be dealing with the same challenges – there is a good chance your resourcing consultancy will be able to steer you into some other doing good work.

Digital is the norm – but getting the right talent cross-sectorally means that the digital lead may need to be in the right organisational talent design and have a package which represents their worth in the wider market place – I’m not sure we have got this right yet. We see mayoral areas, combined authorities, garden communities, joint ventures, community interest companies, children’s trusts, STP’s all on the landscape making it a really complex environment particularly if you are a candidate looking for your next opportunity.

For leaders and providers working in the sector there is a very increased sense of stakeholder engagement and management to make change and develop joint ventures or partnerships. This feels a strong focus on soft skills sets – personal accountability, being influential, tactical and resilience are a must in today’s public sector world.

It’s exciting to be working with some councils and agencies that are cutting edge and working on the solutions together – it’s not the ‘old’ consultancy v client arrangement – it us working in a partnership way with trust and integrity to get the right outcome.

Just writing this feels like therapy about just how challenging and stimulating the public sector world has become – there are challenges for sure but never think it isn’t really exciting.”


Yvonne Skingle is a Director at Penna Executive Search and PPMA National Policy Lead