Council middle managers must prioritise innovation, says report

Local government academics Joan Munro and Susan Biddle in the Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project released the findings of research into council middle managers striving for more major innovations.

The report ‘Middle Managers: Dinosaurs or Key Innovation Allies’, supported by Solace (Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers), looks at middle managers’ views on contributing to change, and how they see their own role in developing innovations.

It stresses the importance of councils having a more considered and strategic approach to new developments, with clear priority areas for major innovations. It also outlines middle managers’ desire for politicians and senior managers to lead for change. The report states that middle managers need to focus effort on the strategic priorities for innovation; to lead and inspire staff; to create the time and resources to work on innovations; and to involve their teams in planning how to achieve these advancements. This includes cross-organisational working with colleagues addressing similar change.

Solace Director Graeme McDonald states that “this is a very helpful report that outlines not just the challenges of change in a local authority, but also the value and power of staff in driving innovation forward.”

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