Commercialisation Conference Success for District Council

This month, Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC) welcomed a host of delegates and speakers from across the UK to its Transforming Culture Conference. The aim of the conference was to tackle the complexities of culture change head-on.

The conference followed AVDC’s own, successful programme of change which has now been running for two years. The council has maintained a firm vision of becoming an efficient, commercial organisation and has built a strong, income-driven foundation to support their frontline services. The conference successfully enabled AVDC to share its experiences with other councils and facilitate best-practice discussions amongst peers and industry experts.

The Chair of SFEDI Group, Ruth Lowbridge MBE, and Lisa Soderman, Business Development Manager at the Dolphin Centre in Darlington, conducted a workshop sharing their experiences of launching the first IOEE Enterprise Academy within the local government sector through the creation and delivery of the Dolphin Centre’s ‘One Outstanding Team’ Programme.

One Outstanding Team not only embodies the values and vision of The Dolphin Centre‘s approach to staff development, it is creating opportunities for intrapreneurship to shine, and for employees’ to be recognised through IOEE accredited qualifications.

Ruth Lowbridge MBE, explained:

“One Outstanding Team is about helping individuals to learn that they could become more enterprising, and that their skills and efforts are valued. Through the IOEE, we’ve created a way to validate that with IOEE membership and working towards qualifications. The Dolphin Centre employees are now registered and working towards a qualification, but even in the build-up we have seen real engagement and ownership, and everybody at The Dolphin Centre has truly embraced this.”

Lisa Soderman, added:

“It was a privilege to be invited to share the Dolphin Centre and IOEE’s experience of launching the first enterprising academy in local authority with a group of public sector professionals with a hunger to secure the future of public service.

“For so long we have talked about embracing change and it’s fantastic to hear the public sector, for which I am passionate about, proactively changing our language to driving change for the better and for a bright future.

“Our ambition at the conference was to demonstrate how this exact strategy has been translated into implementation at the Dolphin Centre realising actual results that are evident in our business performance and I hope that we did this successfully.”

Jez Vibert, Communications and Marketing Manager, AVDC, was inspired by Ruth and Lisa’s workshop. He said:

“We’re all facing the same pressures in local government so it was great to meet other authorities and share experiences. Ruth Lowbridge and Lisa Soderman’s discussion workshop on the IOEE Academy was certainly an hour well spent and I’ll be looking at weaving aspects of their learning into our own transformation work here at AVDC.”

Andrew Grant, Chief Executive of AVDC commented:

“Transforming the culture of an organisation is no easy task, but it’s a challenge which many local authorities face. We put together this conference to share our experiences and provide access to the select group of speakers, from both the public and private sectors, who imparted their expertise throughout the day. I’m delighted the conference was a success and would like to thank everyone who attended and took part.”

To find out more about the conference and AVDC’s cultural transformation, please contact [email protected]

For more info on the One Outstanding Team programme, please visit