Hello PPMA members and friends

Lisa Rathbone from Swindon Borough Council is our 2018 HR Rising Star winner and in the second of our series of posts from participants of both the HR Rising Star and The One to Watch, she shares more about her working life and her experience of taking part in this brilliant competition.

What you do?

I’m Lisa Rathbone – a Learning and Development Consultant at Swindon Borough Council.  I love my role because we get involved in so many diverse projects and there are always new challenges!

 Why do you work in public service?

For me, it’s all about working together to improve outcomes for our residents, particularly supporting those who are the most vulnerable.  Through enabling and empowering our employees, I feel I have a tiny part to play in the amazing work of all our staff who strive every day to transform people’s lives – that’s incredibly special.

How did you feel about participating in Rising Stars?

It was a fantastic experience!  It was really inspiring to work with so many talented professionals and share ideas.  I was a bit nervous before, but everyone was supportive and cheering each other on, which made it great fun!

What did you learn about yourself from participating in the event?

Gosh, where to start?!  I’ve never shared before what personally drives me, so presenting my legacy statement to a room full of people was quite emotional.  Through that experience, I’m learning the power of owning your own story and harnessing that passion to create positive change – and I’m discovering that I’m ready now to take that step, which feels so liberating.  This is just the beginning of that journey!

Here is my Personal Legacy Statement

Voice… we all have one, but some are quieter than others – and some are barely heard at all…

I’d like to leave a legacy of listening, so that all service user and employee voices can be heard.  This empowerment will harness new ideas, galvanise energy and transform our public services.  I’d like to see organisations turned on their heads, so that change is driven by the people it will affect most.  This starts at the foundations by ensuring service users have a voice in decision making and that employees can influence strategy and direction, based on this service user insight.  Radical change will come from the bottom-up.

Numerous studies have outlined the positive benefits of service user and employee voice; however it is about so much more than that.  When I was younger, I was in receipt of specialist services where I felt I didn’t have a say in key decisions impacting my life.  I felt my insights didn’t matter; my opinions didn’t matter; I didn’t matter.  Voice is not just about business-sense, it is about respect, self-worth and sharing hope for a more positive future.

Truly valuing service user and employee voices would require a significant shift in leadership culture – our leaders need to be brave and humble.  Re-balancing power and challenging hierarchies is uncomfortable, but essential to ensure our public services are efficient, responsive and fit for the future.

My legacy will be a legacy of listening.

Their voices will be my legacy.

Lisa is a well deserved winner and we wish her a fantastic year ahead!

Lisa Rathbone, PPMA HR Rising Star 2018 and Learning and Development Consultant, Swindon Borough Council