If we had to sum up the difference between talking a good game about innovation and enhanced value, and actually delivering these objectives, we could sum it up in a simple term: meaningful engagement.
This is the route to solutions that are genuinely co-created with local authorities, communities and other stakeholders. All of these stakeholders have perspectives and experiences to bring to the discussion that contractors simply can’t replicate or short cut.
What Octavius is seeing in many of our relationships with local authorities is a different type and level of conversation when it comes to improving transport infrastructure.
Historically it was all about how to deliver to the specification as cost-effectively as possible. These days we’re increasingly stripping back the layers to get to the heart of what’s needed and what the project hopes to achieve in terms of economic and social benefits.
By everyone sharing their unique perspectives, experience and expertise we co-create innovative solutions that deliver more. In an era where every penny of local authority expenditure has to count, this collaborative approach is essential.
There’s a similar argument with social value. Attend any residents’ or community group meeting and you’ll almost certainly find people who want their local authorities to deliver more. Local authorities also want to deliver more services that enhance neighbourhoods and help build prosperity and social cohesion.
The problem is that the financial resources often aren’t there following substantial cuts to central government grant funding since 2010.
Organisations like ours that deliver services to local authorities can step up and help fill the gap. To avoid this becoming a box-ticking exercise to satisfy the Social Value Act, the keys are, once again, engagement, open discussion and co-creation.
Working collaboratively with local communities and their representatives is the only way we can understand what initiatives will have the biggest and most sustainable impact. This is in line with our key pillars of Assured and Safe Delivery, Exceptional Value, Learn Grow and Thrive, and Sustainable Legacy. So we engage, we listen, and we act.
Collaboration and co-creation with local authorities and communities is a huge topic. You can read more about the background and the practical steps Octavius is taking to ‘deliver more’ in our white paper in our free resource centre.
Or if you have any immediate questions, contact Mike Todd (firstname.lastname@example.org).