At the Organisation Improvement Network’s March event Superintendent of Business Change Mark Stanton described the launch of Merseyside Police’s organisation transformation.
Mark provided an extremely engaging story of the Merseyside Police’s journey towards a more efficient and ‘borderless’ organisation.
Faced with large budget cuts and reduced numbers of officers and staff the Community First Project Team was created to make savings and improve public service. Instead of being tied to procedures staff were encouraged to creatively solve problems. For example, borderless policing encouraged patrol cars to respond to calls based on the availability of staff, not artificially imposed constraints on location.
Merseyside’s improvement journey included various initiatives within a programme management approach which challenged the status quo while building on the best features of previous work. The programme looked at the individual, personal and cultural barriers faced when integrating and streamlining services.
This included a focused attempt to radically change the organisational culture to discover the untapped potential of staff. One example given was reviewing all staff skills and allocating them positions based on the desirable and essential skill requirements of the new roles.
Moving away from arbitrary targets helped re–design services for customers based on the public experience. Mark described the ways in which Merseyside are resolving issues quickly and efficiently. The culture of the police force has developed towards continuous improvement with staff encourage to recommend changes, resulting in a proactive approach to reviewing processes and keeping them lean. Staff are asked to avoid duplication and increasing record keeping for no reason.
The aim of the Organisation Improvement Network is to create a safe and exciting space for councils and their partners to think about radical change. Mark’s presentation provided a compelling ‘provocation’ which generated in-depth debate and reflection on the resonances with council’s public services.