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Local Government - Think Differently

Posted by

Steve Graham

31 July, 2019

The pressure on local government to get key investment, resource allocation and delivery model decisions right has never been greater. Increasing demand for services, rapid technology change and the constant requirement to invest in asset construction and renewal are forcing local government to reconsider traditional business models.

To be successful local authorities must leverage all the intellectual know-how within their organisations. Empowerment through collaboration and innovation may be the very impetus you are looking for.

The status quo is no longer an option for local government. Projected financial short falls mean that unless significant action is taken current services may either be reduced or eliminated.

In Australia a new report by KPMG Public Sector found only 3 percent of councils consider themselves digitally up to speed—at the same time The Australian Local Government Association strategic plan identifies innovation and digital transformation as key priorities.

So what can be done to accelerate transformation?

Other than citizen experience, council employees (who are subject matter experts by definition) are closest to how existing services are delivered and from anecdotal evidence, empowering front-line staff to collectively provide new approaches works.

The New Zealand Productivity Commission identified that, collectively, councils propose to spend $54.5 billion over the next 10 years, which is 31% more than what they proposed in their 2015-25 LTPs.

Unless New Zealand citizens are willing to pay more, out of pocket, the model as it stands today is not sustainable. Kiwis have to think differently and according to, Chris Simpson, CEO Waikato Chamber of Commerce said, “Ask them (employees) how they think they can do better. Ask if there needs to be more research/thinking? Engage with them and no doubt they'll come up with great ideas.”

This experience has been mirrored in the United Kingdom. Several progressive UK Councils started to address these challenges utilising the HunchBuzz innovation platform, e.g. City of London, Aberdeen City Council, Bexley Council, London Ventures and others. They have all used HunchBuzz to gather insight from their thousands of employees who have know-how and front line knowledge.

As citizen expectations change and technology evolves, local government will continue to come under pressure. Customer centricity and innovation must be a priority on the agenda for all local authorities.

Using staff insights and data, councils can provide better solutions and reduce costs. Find out how HunchBuzz helps local, district and regional councils achieve more through collaboration.

Steve Graham

Founder/Director HunchBuzz
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