In true New Year fashion I’ve been reflecting on the lessons learned over the last 12 months and thinking about how to take those forward into the next year after what has been a turbulent and volatile year for everyone.
Almost a year ago I started a new role; little did I know it would be just three weeks before the start of lockdown 1.0.
Having to hit the ground running at a pace that even Usain Bolt would balk at meant I had to learn to prioritise very quickly and adapt to new ways of working and communicating with people I’d never met in person. My usual style of dropping by to ask questions or visiting teams in action as a way of getting to know my colleagues and see for myself what is happening in their world, just hasn’t been possible in the same way.
But different ways of communicating have opened up which, used in the right way, can support all important engagement with each other.
Turning specifically to finance, this year has afforded me a luxury I don’t think you get very often. Decisions needed to be taken, things needed to get done, but things have also needed to be done to demonstrate that we are using public money wisely, all at pace. Local government can have a reputation for glacial change (unfairly I think), but over this last year we’ve found ways to walk the tightrope to enable things to happen. This provides a chance to find those knots and glitches in our systems and processes that can be blockers. We now have the chance to permanently fix them, ensuring that finance is a true enabler for our organisations.
Engagement, communication and enabling – all are values that as a finance function we aspire to and we can now evidence how to take any improvements into the new year.
Adele Taylor is director of resources at Windsor & Maidenhead RLBC