Over the last seven years Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has experienced a considerable reduction in the centrally provided Government grant that makes up its funding. This led to the Service undertaking a long term transformation programme that explored the way that operational service delivery was resourced, managed and led and was the topic of our webinar on Tuesday 6 February.
The Service has successfully changed its operating model, reduced budgets, improved outcomes for residents and delivered significant change outside of nationally agreed terms and conditions without local industrial action. This is due to the level of engagement, involvement and participation of the workforce in generating the solutions to the problem faced by the organisation. Through the de-layering of bureaucracy, the move away from command and control decision-making and the development of a more inclusive culture, the Service has met the challenges of budget reductions.
Whilst the challenge is far from over, the methodology and approach is part of business as usual and continues to support ongoing transformation and change within the Service. Despite a 55% reduction in the central grant, the Service has seen a 35% reduction in calls and a 50% reduction in the number of people losing their life, or being seriously injured in an accidental dwelling fire. This performance is historically the best that the Service has delivered during its operation.
This webinar presentation illustrated some of the journey of change that the Service has undertaken, highlighting the involvement of the workforce in making a difference.
Rebecca (Becci) Bryant was appointed Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive with Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service on 18 April 2016 and is the first woman CFO to have progressed through the 'ranks' in the UK, not just England.
Becci joined Staffordshire in 2005 after serving with both Cheshire Fire Service and Bedfordshire and Luton Fire and Rescue Service. She was previously in the role of Deputy Chief Executive, having also undertaken the roles of Director of Organisational Development and Area Commander within Staffordshire.
During recent years in the Service, Becci has lead the Service through various transformative changes, using the Vanguard Method to Systems Thinking. This has seen numerous changes within the Service, including a restructure of the management teams, a new crewing model for whole-time stations, changes to the emergency response model and a new approach to vehicle procurement and maintenance to name but a few. Her current responsibilities include providing the strategic leadership for the continued transformation of the Service, along with providing professional support to the Fire and Rescue Authority.
Becci worked with a range of partners in redesigning the method for public sector services within Stoke on Trent. She chaired the Strategic Board overseeing this work for 2 years, which was successful in gaining significant funding from the Local Authority Transformation Grant in 2014. This funding supports the change from silo based organisational service delivery to a holistic multi-agency delivery approach, based on an greater understanding of the needs of the citizen.
Becci is a published author within the Systems Thinking arena, and has successfully completed academic studies with the University of Central Lancashire, the University of Warwick and Keele University.
She is the Programme Director of the Executive Leadership Programme, which is run in conjunction with the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC), The University of Warwick Business School and the Fire Service College.
This programme is designed to support current and aspiring strategic leaders in the Fire and Rescue Service in their leadership development. Becci is also the NFCC Lead for the Cross Sector Leadership Exchange and sits as a Non Executive Director overseeing this work.
Becci was recently awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Professional Practice from the University of Wolverhampton in recognition for her contribution and achievements in the Fire and Rescue Service and acting as an inspirational leader in the field. Keele University has also recently awarded Becci an honorary degree in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the Fire Service, her inspirational leadership, her contribution to the safety and well-being of the people of Staffordshire.
This webinar content is suitable for professionals with all levels of experience.
Becci has very kindly allowed her presented material to be made available for viewing.
The slides have been listed on Slideshare and the webinar recording on YouTube are available in our APM resources and also below for reference.
Questions raised during the recording are currently being reviewed and together with the responses will be published below shortly.
Upcoming Enabling Change SIG conference
Thursday 22 March 2018
Inspiring positive change in complex and uncertain times
In today’s VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) environment we can predict one thing with great certainty: The pace of change is accelerating more than before and is only going to go higher!
How prepared are the organisations to embrace complexity and uncertainty and makes sense of change that is unfolding?
Following on from the successful launch of ‘Introduction to Managing Change’ guide in November 2017, this second Enabling Change SIG conference will explore the above challenge that change, portfolio, programme and project practitioners are facing.
It promises to be a world class event in sharing latest trends, good practice, real life experiences, deep dive discussions and thought leadership in the field of managing change.