A guest post by Georgia Turner, Head of Communications and Marketing, BCP Council
I head up a multi-disciplinary comms function for one of the largest – and newest – local authorities – Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council.
With strategic priorities, vision and values agreed, a reimagining of our relationship with communities, new ways of working and a fresh direction for many services all now loom large. In this context, whether it’s wholescale organisational transformation or behaviour change amongst service users that we’re working on, becoming experts on how comms supports, adds value and is integral to achieving the objectives of change is arguably the most critical tool we can have right now.
So, when Victoria Ford took me up on my, ahem, generous offer of my team to be a live test environment for Perago’s brand-new Change for Communicators course, I couldn’t believe my luck.
Eight of us, all with different roles, at varying levels of seniority, and focuses on both internal and external projects, committed to two days away from the office to be the very first group to experience Perago’s course, end-to-end.
And how have those two days have left us feeling? In short – energised, enthused, upskilled and confident. This is consistent across all of us, whether primarily focused on internal change or external campaigns, on operational comms delivery or strategic planning.
And that’s because, across the two days, this carefully-curated course content served up a magic combination of change theory, neuroscience, project management, leadership needs, and campaign planning. Professionally and authentically delivered, there’s a fab balance between learning, individual review, experience sharing, action planning, practical exercises, professional development, personal reflection and group work.
Victoria and her team created a friendly, open environment which really aided learning, honesty and positive critique amongst our group
We’re returning to the office armed with action plans, new approaches and a deeper understanding of the processes and factors that play their part in the success or sabotage of change.
BCP Council is set to benefit from our enhanced appreciation of the change process and delivery structures, as well as fresh skills sets that I am confident will mean our contribution to change programmes and projects will be better than ever before.
As eight very lucky local government guinea pigs reflected on our learning, two phrases stuck with me, that perfectly capture why Change for Communicators is essential CPD for any public sector communicator. The first – “in my 13 years working in local government, we are constantly going through change, we haven’t stopped.”; and secondly.. “life is continuous change really, isn’t it?” In that context, can you really afford not to attend?