Working with Directors of Public Health
11/06/2014 Leave a comment
Last Sunday week saw me traveling to Taunton to undertake the second day’s work for the Leadership Centre for Local Government and help deliver a part of a three day course for Directors of Public Health one year on from moving across from the NHS to Local Government. Our sessions delivered alongside a Liberal Democrat and a Labour Councillor, are about what it is like to work in a political environment and to talk about some of the differences between the political parties, how we can work together and how on occasions we can be more tribal in our approaches!
The course is delivered by Chris Lawrence-Pietroni and Mari Davis whom I first meet a few years ago now when they presented a 2 day training course for Councillors at Warwick University on communications. To this day the paper that Chris presented to that course, Mobilising Shared Values – An introduction to public narrative (Originally adapted from the work of Marshall Ganz of Harvard University), is one I re-read as I face important challenges in my Councillor work.
The sessions are Chatham House rules and so we explore the nature of power, influence and that reoccurring theme of Leadership in a full and frank way. For me I think I get as much learning from them as those on the course. Many, many years ago I undertook a major training course/workshop series in my business life and it taught but one principle, that the art of win:win is not knowing what are your issues, that’s the easy part but understanding what are the other sides issues, that the tricky bit.
In these series of workshops we also discuss the nature of hieratical authority and personal authority and for me in sessions like this I get real insights about an officer prospective on their aspect of local government. People sometimes say what has such things to do with being a councillor and representing your community, I think you can do that best when you are truly effective within a Council and to do that you need to be able to see issues from an officer’s point of view.