ICT professionals ‘need to adopt distributed leadership’

Public sector ICT professionals need to adopt distributed leadership models, dropping their current “regressive and boring” methods, according to a speaker at today’s Government Procurement Summit.

Dr. Martin Reeves chief executive at Coventry City Council and national procurement champion for local government was speaking to senior representatives of local and central government in London this morning.

He said that distributed leadership is the only way that government bodies will be able to transform places in future.

He said: “This idea that ICT professionals often have – that leadership and power is at the top table – has gone. It is regressive and boring.

“The power for change is absolutely with your teams. We need to energise and catalyse people to allow them to get on with it.”

“Welcome to the new world of leadership – that is what differentiates a leader from someone who takes the salary and is a technically brilliant manager – we are not going to change the world like that.”

Reeves added that there was a “natural tension” between the idea of creating economies of scale through large scale contracts and the desire of local places to have control over creating prosperity and social value in their own areas.

But he said: “They are not mutually exclusive. We are seeing examples all the time where councils are blending the best multinationals with some of most brilliant niche boutique start-up businesses, particularly in ICT.”

Stephen Allott, crown representative for small and medium sized enterprises in the Cabinet Office, said that digital transformation had the potential to drive savings of up to 80% in public sector organisations.

He said: “With transformational projects you get huge savings, whereas with aggregation and collaborative procurement you only get a few percentage points off.”

But he said that government organisations needed to be more confident about dealing with smaller suppliers.

Colin Marrs

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