The challenges and opportunities public servants face today are diverse and complex, meaning people need to be passionate about what they do, skilled and confident in how they do it and excited, not daunted, by the constant cycle of change, innovation and changing levels of demand.
The Local Government Association (LGA), Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE) and Public Services People Managers’ Association (PPMA) explore this in Walk Tall – Being a 21stCentury Public Servant.
Launched on the 15th July 2016, the e-book is a collaboration between all three organisations, Shared Press, which curated and produced it, and Catherine Needham and Catherine Mangan, from the University of Birmingham, who developed the original concept of a 21st century public servant.
The University of Birmingham research identified the different roles and characteristics of 21stcentury public servants and generated high levels of interest and debate.
Responding to this, the LGA, which represents more than 370 councils in England and Wales, SOLACE and PPMA commissioned Shared Press to prepare an e-book to provide a bridge between the academic research and the day-to-day activities of the people and organisations they represent.
Shared Press interviewed more than 60 public workers for the e-book, encouraging them to tell their own stories and demonstrate the best of what is done, day in and day out.
Cllr Clarence Barrett, Workforce Lead of the LGA’s Resources Portfolio, said: “They are a tribute to the dedication, passion and commitment to public workers across the country, most of whom do fantastic work on a day-to-day basis because they care about the lives of people in their local communities.
“Developing a workforce based on the characteristics of the 21st century public servant is a crucial part of ensuring that we design and deliver public services which put people at the heart of them, make the best possible use of public money and consistently adapt to take account of changing needs and levels of demand.
“We want our workforce to think creatively about how things can be done, actively look for and engage with partner organisations with whom they can have even more impact on people’s lives and be confident in their decision-making.
“Many public servants already do these things but there is more to do and the e-book will play an important role in helping to ensure that this new approach can be found in organisations across the public and voluntary sectors.”
The e-book is free and can be downloaded here.