Skip to content

Report of the Digital Government Review

Leadership: driving change across an authority

So far, there is one comment on this section. Jump to comments

Recommendation 20

Priority: High

Local authorities should recruit strong, capable leadership and delivery teams responsible for both digital activity and culture change across the authority. The benefits and service improvements will pay for the investment.

Ultimately, the success of local digital services will depend on the drive, capability and accountability of those responsible for those services. There is not a single leadership and organisation model that can be used as a template. Each authority will develop their own solution based on their needs and the resources available to them. But without a leadership open to modern service design and capable of leading digital transformation progress will be slow.

Leaders will need to be aware of the potential of digital to transform services, but also need access to a range of specialist skills that can help them manage the complex transformation and change projects that digital can entail. They should be able to work across the authority to break down organizational silos that may be hindering transformation.

These leadership and delivery skills required will include:

  • Political leadership with digital knowledge and experience that can work with the organisation to develop a digital strategy that suits the region’s citizens.
  • Organisational leadership with the responsibility for digital activities across the local authority which reports in to the highest level. Some authorities might choose to call this a Chief Technical Officer or Chief Digital Officer. Such a leader would need to work closely with both the Chief Executive Officer and the political leadership to develop the culture within their local authority.
  • Delivery skills to implement both modern digital services and approaches such as data sharing, data analytics and open data. Some local authorities might choose to appoint a Chief Data Officer.
  • In-house responsibility for digital architecture, digital programme management and procurement. It is not possible to successfully deliver on a digital strategy without these skills within the authority.
  • Transformation skills to revisit organizational structures and business processes.
  • Collaboration and stakeholder management skills, to engage with a wide range of partners throughout the design and delivery processes; other public sector bodies and neighbouring authorities, community groups, private sector suppliers, universities and research institutions.
  • Communication skills to engage openly and frequently with citizens and community groups.

“Councils need officers who are able to think strategically and knowledgeably about digital solutions and how they are provided.” – Think Tank

This page reformats automatically when printed. Print this section

Please note that comments left here are public - you can also make a private submission.

Your email address will not be published. Name, email address and comment are required fields. Please note we may moderate comments.

One comment

  1. Peter says:

    Dave Briggs has made a suggestion here: of a “CDO as a service” model which might be suitable “for many smaller organisations – take district councils, say, or mid sized charities”