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“In a crisis, be aware of the danger - but recognise the opportunity” John F Kennedy

Over the past three months, COVID-19 has brought tragedy and challenge in equal measure. It’s also brought opportunity for change.

Since March 23rd, a commitment to do the right thing regardless of the barriers has created a new way forward. As a result, we’re working closer together across services and with our communities and partners.

Being responsive, innovative, trusted and ambitious (RITA) is no longer just a strapline, it’s a way of working that has helped us connect the dots and make change happen.

As lockdown begins to slowly lift, we cannot lose the great strides we’ve taken forward, nor can we revert to old habits. Lessons must be learnt, not lost – and that was the message of the first virtual meeting of the Make it Happen Board on June 3rd.

Ensuring recovery transforms our future

Speaking to the board, Chief Executive, Kenneth Lawrie, said our recovery and the next steps of the Council of the Future transformation programme went hand-in-hand and that it was time to be “brave and energetic in our commitment to move things on”.

He also threw down the gauntlet to the Senior Responsible Owners (SRO) of our five workstream boards, explaining they could not waste the momentum for change that had built up over the past three months.

“We cannot hanker for things as they once were. This is the time to be radical in our thinking and make difficult decisions that will move things we’d put in the ‘too hard to do box’ forward. We have a real opportunity to kick old habits and ensure new ideas are generated and fed into the system.”

The bottom line

With the Council’s financial situation even more precarious, SROs were also told hard decisions would need to be taken because “we cannot spend time and energy on projects that are not going to bring significant dividends”.

“We need to step up and be open about what it is we can do and ensure challenging decisions are put in front of elected members quickly. We have a small window to take significant steps forward and build on what has been achieved for the good of our communities and our workforce. We cannot waste this opportunity for change.”

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