We’re committing to five big and some small things over the next year

Kit Collingwood
Sep 10, 2018 · 5 min read

Why we’re writing this

One Team Gov is a public sector reform movement whose aim is to take practical action to improve public services and reform the way we work. This blog post is from the team who coordinate the overall movement, but is for the benefit of anyone from any country who feels part of One Team Gov.

(A microaction for you: please take a few minutes to respond to this — here, via twitter @OneTeamGov or at contact@oneteamgov.uk. Tell us what you think we’ve missed, and comment on anything we’ve said.)

One Team Gov has been going for about 18 months, and for the most part our activity has been focused on breaking down barriers between people by creating safe spaces for reformists to connect with each other. We run events and meetups and create new communities wherever people want them.

We’re growing. And our work has gone way beyond connecting people. We want to maintain some things we’ve already done, and to aim for some goals which need coordinated, sustained effort over time.

We’ve had two meetings recently which have helped us express what we’d like to achieve over the next year. You can read about them here and here.

Our big goals

  1. Explore bringing the Free Agents model from Canada to the UK

Free Agents are public servants who are deployed flexibly across government, bringing their skills to different areas and developing themselves in the process. Our hypothesis is that this could have some great benefits for the UK public sector by:

  • increasing efficiency by giving a model for quickly moving highly skilled people where they’re most needed
  • increasing engagement and happiness in the free agents and the teams they work in
  • improving our work by giving teams access to skills they wouldn’t otherwise have had

The first concrete action from this goal is to gather ideas and case studies that will help us frame the problem. You can add to that here.

You can track or add to this goal here.

2. Diversity and inclusion

The more diverse and inclusive we are as a sector, the better we get, so this goal is at the heart of our overall aim to improve the way we work. We want to contribute to making the public sector across the world more diverse and inclusive. There are already loads of programmes aimed at doing this; we think there’s more to be done and want to build on what’s gone before. We’ll focus on:

  • building or spreading practical advice for people to make teams more diverse and inclusive
  • amplifying the need for professional, socioeconomic and cognitive diversity
  • connecting people who are doing similar things so they can work together

Our first action from this goal is to understand what’s out there already. We’ve just kicked this off in this Twitter thread, which we’d love comments on. You can track or add to this goal here.

3. Leadership

Leading well is a skill that underpins the whole of our sector. While there is a lot of work done on leadership, it often lacks practicality or has a grade barrier to entry. We think leadership and seniority are different things, and we want to find space to talk about different leadership models underpinned by things like empathy and vulnerability. To do this we will:

  • work with pioneers in new leadership and network thinking, to learn from and disseminate ideas like empathy experiments at HMRC
  • speak and write in the open about our experiences and thoughts on leading better
  • work to influence existing leadership schemes
  • explore whether new leadership training might be beneficial

Our next concrete step for this goal is to explore an alternative leadership scheme. You can read about that here. You can track and add to this goal here.

4. One Team Gov In A Box

We want the One Team Gov movement to spread wherever it’s needed. Changing the public sector is hard, and we want to make it accessible to any reformers who feel lonely or disempowered. This year we will package up what we’ve done so far in this community neatly, and work with younger and prospective One Team Gov communities to help spread what we’ve done. We will:

  • package our design assets up in a way that others can easily use
  • share our advice and experience in writing and through role modelling at others’ events
  • make ourselves accessible to anyone who needs help building their own One Team Gov community

The first concrete action for this goal is to package up our design assets. You can track or add to this goal here.

5. Sustainable funding

We want One Team Gov to thrive. Many of our activities, from events to our website, cost money. We think we are a valuable asset to the public sector across the world and this year we’ll be seeking sustainable funding from different organisations – we’ll always be open about how we’re spending funds. This will help us:

  • operate more efficiently
  • maintain our assets, like our website and podcast
  • help make ourselves more inclusive by helping those who struggle to reach us

The first concrete action for this goal is to agree a business case for One Team Gov. You can track or add to this goal here.

And the rest

These are the big goals — the ones that need to be expressed and tracked to make progress on them. But there’s a lot going on in One Team Gov all the time, and these activities also form part of our year commitment. We will:

  • maintain our website and online communication
  • continue our podcast series
  • run another global event in summer 2019
  • run regular meet ups, and help others be created
  • continue to work in the open, holding ourselves to account for our principles
  • write new things

Want a microaction?

If you want to help our goals happen, here are some ideas:

  • tag yourself to a Trello card or add a new idea
  • write something new that aligns with our principles
  • send us a case study that demonstrates good leadership, diversity and inclusion or one of our principles
  • tell us if you disagree with us on something (we want to avoid groupthink)
  • come along to one of our events, bringing someone who’s not like you

Thanks for your time!

The One Team Gov Team

Thanks to Sam Villis and Nour Sidawi

    Kit Collingwood

    Written by

    Working in digital government. All the books, music, words, laughter, feminism, inclusion. Compulsive optimist. Helping reform government through OneTeamGov.

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