Solace Blog

Articles and blogs written or contributed to by Solace staff and Board members for external publications including the Guardian, Local Government Chronicle and Municipal Journal are republished for browsing on this page.

A number of these can be accessed through the Solace Guardian Public Leaders Network Partner Zone.

Public life and public services: Time for a new discourse – 0

By Robin Tuddenham, Director of Communities and Service Support at Calderdale Council and Deputy Spokesperson for Community Safety and Resilience 

It was always going to be a time when we reflected on our values, our role in the world, and what democracy means to us. What wasn’t anticipated was that this would occur in the context of a tragic and senseless murder of a young, talented and compassionate MP. Jo Cox entered public life with the drive and determination to make a difference. Seeking to understand this event and the motivation of the perpetrator will unfold in the months to come, but some impacts have been immediately felt.

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Holy evidence, Batman – 0

By Abdool Kara, Chief Executive of Swale Borough Council and Solace Spokesperson on Evidence Based Policy

Abraham Wald was a Jew who, after being hounded out of Austria just before WWII, became a professor of statistics at Columbia University, and ended up working for the Statistical Research Group of statisticians supporting the American war effort.  As an ‘enemy alien’ his status was confused – technically he was not allowed to see the reports that he was himself producing!

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Local Government Professionals Australia Congress and Business Expo 2016 – 0

By Averil Price, Director of Community Services, Chelmsford City Council and Solace Group Board Member

I was privileged to represent Solace in May at the LG Professionals Australia Conference held on the sunny Gold Coast, and I was delighted to have the opportunity to take part in a private, guided tour of the new multi-million dollar Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct and the 2018 Commonwealth Games athletes' village and sports venues.

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The most important assets in commercialism are human – 0

By Gordon Sheret, Managing Director - Cities & Communities, ENGIE

Although commercialisation or commercialism, whichever you prefer, has been talked about greatly for a long time now, it’s still a minority of councils that are heading down this road – for a raft of different and valid reasons.

As the name suggests, it’s simply a way of councils commercialising their assets, physical and human, to provide additional revenue streams in response to sustained reductions in funding.

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There but for the Grace of God go I… – 0

By Jo Miller, Chief Executive of Doncaster Council and Solace Deputy Spokesperson on Elections and Democratic Renewal

This article was first published on The Guardian Public Leaders Network website

I’ve always said that as a Returning Officer, running a successful election doesn’t necessarily enhance your CEO career, but running one with significant mishaps is career limiting, for sure. This is ever more the case in an environment where the extent of the failure, culpability and accountability is measured in media volume rather than scale of failure and its relative impact.

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Health and Social Care Transformation – 0

By Mike Suarez, Chief Executive, Cheshire East Council and Solace Deputy Spokesperson, Local Government Finance

Up and down the country Local Authorities will be engaging with their partners on a new and recent entry to the Local Government lexicon which is of course STPs. STPs are Sustainability and Transformation Plan submissions which NHS health partners are required under their governance to submit. Two things are clear; our health partners are under significant stress and STPs are a real test of partnership working. It was, therefore, good to see Mark Lloyd and Simon Stephens working together on this at a national level. 

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Striving for Total Leadership – 0

By Graeme McDonald, Director, Solace

There has often been a debate about what makes a good leader: knowledge; authenticity; drive; empathy; and, for some, even heroism. But there can be no debate that leadership can always be improved; or that, in the context of local government, it needs more investment.

Significant attempts have been made to improve leadership over the last decades, especially in helping managers and politicians to work together, and this has produced results. We have learnt to understand what works. Local public services are now in the foothills of even more dramatic change. Re-thinking how we achieve the essential outcomes the public needs has never been more important.

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Use Your Energy to Stay Resilient – 0

By Claire Chidley, Solace Associate, Director of Create Tomorrow Today and author of Energy Intelligence - A New Leadership Theory, reflecting on the Solace Resilience Masterclass.

Resilience is the ‘in’ word in our sector. As soon as it crops up in a training course or conference title, there’s a lot of interest and the event sells out fast.

So what’s going on? Why should we be so interested by this topic? 

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Beyond robustness and resilience – 0

By Kylie Roberts, Director, Challenger Leadership, Grant Thornton UK LLP

I have recently been reading a book kindly passed on to me, called Antifragile, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.  On the first page of this book, it reads 'Some things benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, and stressors; and love adventure, risk and uncertainty.  Yet in spite of ubiquity of the phenomenon, there is no word for the exact opposite of fragile.  Let's call it antifragile.  And antifragility is beyond resilience or robustness'. 

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'Another fine mess' – 0

By Phil Norrey, Chief Executive of Devon County Council and Solace Spokesperson on Children and Families

As the smoke gently cleared on 6 May, the day after the mayoral, local government and police and crime commissioner elections, the Secretary of State for Education took the opportunity to make the not unexpected announcement of a change of approach in the relation to the key proposal contained in the White Paper ‘Excellence Everywhere’ in Education: namely the forced ‘Academisation’ of Local Authority maintained schools.

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