One Team Gov North

This is not a moment, it’s the movement

This week, we brought One Team Gov to the North.

What’s One Team Gov?

OneTeamGov is a community, united and guided by a set of principles. The community is made up of people who are passionate about public sector reform within and outside government, with the emphasis on improving the services we offer to citizens and how we work. OneTeamGov is working to create a movement of reform through practical action, and I am so proud to have played a practical role in bringing it to the North.

For me, bringing OneTeamGov to the North was really important, and not only because I don’t like being left out! There is an amazing community that will be able to make a difference. For me, the day was all about connecting people and getting them to start conversations; and for them to take away microactions that, when put together, will bring about reform.

How it happened

About five months ago, Maxine and I got together in Leeds with a group of people who had said they were interested in making something happen. We got some feedback from people who had been on the event in London, and we talked about what made us Northern, and what problems we thought we had in the North that we could try and solve.

This showed that there was a lot of positive thought, and people ready to get involved, but that also we were trying to drive the conversations to a specific theme, rather than letting them emerge organically.

We eventually went with collaboration and inclusion — both really important, but broad enough brush strokes to allow people the freedom to pitch on what they feel passionate about. Our unconference pitches ranged from gender identity to rich data to learning products to recruitment, and everything in between.

Finding my tribe

A core group of people emerged who were really going to make this happen, and I can’t thank them enough for being there.

Dream team!

We tried to catch up on calls, but have ultimately relied on the direct messaging power of Twitter to talk to each other. Joanne Rewcastle and her team were such a support on the day, and she’s written more eloquently than I could about how it was all pulled together:

Reflections on the day

The people made the day. It was a real privilege to be in the room to see it all coming together.

We had some brilliant speakers who gave us something to think about, and we had an unconference so people could drive their own conversations. I had hoped that we’d get a good mix of people, and that it would all come together. And it did!

The people were from central and local government, and the external digital sector. Everyone was there to make OneTeamGovNorth happen.

And for me, personally?

I was filmed for the first time ever!

And I stood up and co-hosted the event. Both are things that are so far outside my comfort zone, but I want to work on having more confidence and so need to keep challenging myself. And big shout out to Fritz for the hug and pep talk before we started!

I voted for all of the unconference sessions and typically didn’t make it round them all. I guess that’s the only thing that I would change.

I felt really inspired and humbled that people turned up: guess that’s testimony to the willingness to change.

At the end of the day I was more than ready for a glass of fizz!

So, what’s next?

Make the change happen. There were so many inspiring conversations on the day, so many relationships formed or reaffirmed, and so much still to do.

My own microaction is to start lunch meetups in Manchester, probably lean coffee style. That should allow people space to chat about what’s important to them, and drive more action. If you’re interested, I’d love to hear from you!

Oh, and I’ll be going to One Team Gov Global in July!

What will you do?