Headlines: January 31st, 2007



A new project has been launched to build competence and intellectual capital in the Civil Service. ‘Effective Business Models’ is an action research network designed by the National School of Government’s Sunningdale Institute as a response to Capability Reviews, which found some Departments were too inclined to settle for inherited structures rather than designing systems that were capable of delivering the required outcomes.

The thought leadership project will be led by Professor Andy Neely of Cranfield School of Management and Professor Rick Delbridge of Cardiff Business School, who are Institute Fellows. Directors from departments which have undergone review will share their knowledge and experience and look at alternative approaches to design issues. They will be encouraged to apply theory to solve practical problems, focusing on what makes organisations or systems ‘fit for purpose’. They will also be involved in work-based investigations which will draw on leading thinking for real world solutions appropriate to specific departments.

The project will lead to the production of materials such as concept papers and case studies that will be incorporated in the School of Government’s learning and development services as well as benefiting participants and their sponsors. The Director of the Sunningdale Institute, Professor Sue Richards, said the School was committed to developing creative approaches to organisation design and development, and to generating what she called practical wisdom. “Participation in this and future network events is an opportunity to add to the body of knowledge available to public services as, collectively, we sustain the drive for continuous improvement,” she said.

The Institute offers academic frameworks designed to meet the context of government; high level interventions to support and challenge ministers and senior civil servants in thinking through problems and issues and to transfer knowledge from other sectors. Work undertaken so far includes refining knowledge management strategy, advice on the design of new structures and reframing policy on professional development.

More information is available from www.nationalschool.gov.uk