What is One Team Government?

Kit Collingwood-Richardso at Medium: “On 29th June, 186 people came together in London to talk about how we could work across disciplines to make government more effective…. Below are our current ideas on what we want it to be. We’d love your help shaping them up.

So what is One Team Government?

At its heart, it’s a community (join it here and see the bottom of this post), united and guided by a set of principles. Together, we are working to create a movement of reform through practical action.

The community is made up of people who are passionate about public sector reform (we deliberately want this to be wider than just government), with the emphasis on improving the services we offer to citizens and how we work. We believe the public sector can be brilliant, and we’re committed to making it so.

You don’t have to work for government to be in the community, nor be a public servant in the wider sense, nor indeed be in the UK; we need diverse perspectives, with people of all sectors, areas and interests helping. We think we’re unstoppable if we work together.

Our initial thinking (see below for how to help us iterate on this) is that we want the One Team Government movement to be guided by seven principles:

1. Work in the open and positively

We’re a community; everything we do will be documented and made to share. Where conversations happen that can’t be shared, the wider learning still will be. This is a reform cooperative, where we choose to be generous with knowledge. Ideas are infectious; we’ll share ours early and often….

2. Take practical action

Although talking is vital, we will be defined more by the things we do than the things we say. We will create change by taking small, measured steps every day — everything from creating a new contact in a different area or discipline, sharing something we’ve written, or giving our time to contribute to others’ work — and encouraging others to do the same. We won’t create huge plans, but do things that make a real difference today, no matter how big or small. We will document what they are.

3. Experiment and iterate

We don’t think there’s one way to ‘do’ reform. We will experiment with design, and put user-focused service design thinking into everything we do, learning from and with each other. We will test, iterate and reflect. We will be humble in our approach, focusing on asking the right questions to get to the best answers.

We will embrace small failures as opportunities to learn. We won’t get everything right, and we won’t try to. We will listen, learn and improve together.

4. Be diverse and inclusive

Our approach to inclusiveness and diversity is driven by a simple desire to better represent the citizens we serve. We’ll put effort into making that so, by balancing our events, making sure our teams are reflective of society at large and by making sure we have a range of citizen and team voices in the room with us….

5. Care deeply about citizens

We work for users and other citizens affected by our work; everything we do will be guided by our impact on them. We will talk to them, early and often; we will use the best research methods to understand them better. We will be distinguished by our empathy — for users and for each other. The policy that we develop will be tested with real people as early as possible, and refined with their needs in mind.

6. Work across borders

We believe that diverse views make our outcomes and services better. We will be characterised by our work to break down boundaries between groups. …

7. Embrace technology

We are passionate about public sector reform for the internet age. We will be a technology-enabled community, using online tools to collaborate, network and share. We will put the best of digital thinking into policy and service design, using technology to make us quicker, smarter, better and more data-driven. We will help to shape a public sector we can be proud to work in in the 21st century….(More)”.