Working in collaboration with:
Name: Steve Smith
Company: Oxfordshire County Council
Course attended: Advanced Management Programme
Course date: 18.11.19
Course Location: Manchester
Oxfordshire county council is a local government with a two-tier structure. Annually we have a budget of approximately £600 million which goes towards supporting highway development, waste management, public libraries and Fire & Rescue services as well as adults social care and children’s services. We have 4,000 members of staff who work across the district council and some authority services that we provide.
As we are a council our main objective is to provide effective and efficient services that will allow people and communities to thrive, we have an obligation to develop local environments. With regards to my department, I feel our objectives are to facilitate our individual employees, supporting them to meet their own needs as well as those of the council.
We have faced many challenges over the last couple of years, which have seen the council make many sacrifices. Our main challenge has been the significant budget cuts, that have been ongoing for the last 10 years – with many more to come. Cuts challenge us as there’s a constant increase in demand for services and the development of deteriorating infrastructure as well as the changes in Government legislation, which we have had to adapt to.
I was looking to develop my current skill set through practical and theoretical learning whilst broadening my knowledge of leadership theories through participative sessions with the other delegates. The course was ideal for me to develop my career, as it provided me with a formalised certification and allowed me to grow ideas for practicing in my role.
The Learning Experience:
I found the session around Strategy Development extremely interesting and I learnt a lot from my time in this session. Whilst I was aware of the taught areas, it was very refreshing and though-provoking to hear other delegates sharing their ideas, shedding new light on my understandings.
Both James and Sean were excellent at keeping the group engaged with their demonstrations, workshops and humour. They used a blend of academic theories and real-life scenarios, which really helped bring the learning to life.
I have to say this course came at a very important time for me. Since attending, I have been able to apply some of my learning into developing new visions and strategies for my services going forward. Our services are going through structural and legislative changes and require clarity on what their medium-term outcomes will look like. This course gave me the confidence to deliver those outcomes to them and together we are working towards achieving them.
I would absolutely recommend this programme to anyone looking to develop and refine their leadership knowledge. I have already started to recommend this programme to my colleagues and friends.
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