A think tank has warned that a radical cultural shift is needed in local government rather than the redesign of structures.
In a new essay, the New Local Government Network (NLGN) calls on councils to embrace a bold ‘changemaking’ approach focused on the core values of creativity, collaboration and self-determination.
It warns that in the current 'fraught' financial and political environment, councils risk simply 'muddling through' with services becoming more fragmented.
The essay states: ‘A changemaking approach would focus on using shifts in culture and norms to ramp up levels of impact. It would not necessarily reject the pursuit of organisational reform outright but it would recognise that the obsessive focus on structures through devolution, integration and economic development can exclude transformation of culture and norms to the detriment of overall impact.
‘It recognises that without that cultural focus there is a risk that organisational restructure simply continues negative behavioural norms such as inertia, territorialism and hierarchy under a different banner.'