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Big challenges make Birmingham council a great place to work, says Mark Rogers

Big challenges make Birmingham council a great place to work, says Mark Rogers

🕔12.Aug 2015

It’s the significant improvement challenges that makes Birmingham city council such a “fantastic” place to work, according to chief executive Mark Rogers.

The council leadership is “impatiently adventurous” in its pursuit of excellence, is at the forefront of introducing new ideas in local government, and is seeking staff with a ‘can do, won’t give up’ attitude.

That’s Mr Rogers’ somewhat glossy take on the council as a prospective employer.

Writing on the city’s “Earn their Respect” website, he explains why candidates for top positions should consider a career in Birmingham.

The personal message accompanies advertisements for three senior positions – strategic director for change and support services, assistant chief executive and assistant director for business change.

The recruitment exercise follows the Kerslake Review’s criticism of a lack of senior management capacity at the council. The review concluded that the “scale of the challenge is too big for the existing corporate leadership team to manage” and the “corporate centre should be strengthened to enable this to be done effectively and provide greater support to the chief executive and his team”.

Last month the council announced it would advertise for senior positions after the Birmingham independent improvement panel criticised the authority for dragging its feet.

Mr Rogers doesn’t mention Kerslake directly in his message, or the review’s central conclusion that the council has suffered poor leadership for years, but refers instead to

well known and significant improvement challenges which create unparalleled opportunities to transform the way we work and ensure that in all we do we make a positive difference every day to the lives of our citizens.

He continues:

Birmingham is a brilliantly diverse city and those associated with the City Council are rightly proud of its great history and unequalled contribution to the development of modern local government.

And there is much that we continue to celebrate today, with many examples of service excellence and innovation – such as Think Family, the HS2 Curzon Masterplan and our Park Lives programme – all widely recognised and celebrated as evidence of best practice.

It is because of our successes and challenges that Birmingham City Council is a fantastic place to work and if you come here you will find an organisation that is both demanding and supportive; and a leadership impatiently adventurous in its pursuit of excellence.

First and foremost, you will champion equality and diversity in everything you do. But these key roles will also require candidates who can provide strong strategic leadership, coupled with a ‘can do; won’t give up’ attitude.

The posts on offer and job descriptions:

Strategic director change and support services £138-153K

Your primary focus will be to deliver a different sort of council – a new model for Birmingham – and different ways of working both inside the organisation and with our partners.

To achieve this you will be responsible for leading the culture change required and building a team to oversee the delivery of the Future Council, while working alongside the chief executive, strategic directors, departmental leadership teams, cabinet and elected members.

You’ll be expected to tackle a number of key issues in your role, including: designing, developing, implementing and leading integrated support services across the council; providing strategic leadership, vision and direction; working closely with the Children’s Services Directorate; determining the culture change required to meet the Future Council vision; and driving through changes required for continually improved service and performance.

Assistant chief executive £82-91K

Providing senior-level strategic support to the chief executive, you’ll plan, drive and deliver the council’s improvement agenda and service priorities. With oversight of the council’s corporate strategy, you’ll monitor departmental performance, ensure that policies and changes are consistently implemented, and recommend changes where required.

And, leading the development of partnership working within the council and across the city, you’ll be a central point of information and contact between the chief executive’s office and a range of external bodies.

Assistant director business change £78-87K

Providing strategic leadership as part of the People Directorate management team, you’ll ensure the successful implementation of a range of projects, programmes and service improvements to benefit the people of Birmingham. Leading a culture of continuous improvement, you’ll drive both organisational and people development – optimising performance by ensuring that the right professional support and IT services are in place.

And, as well as forging collaborative relationships with a range of colleagues and external partners, you’ll ensure that all policies and processes involve service users, their families and other carers. Everything you do will have our customers’ needs at the core.

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