It would be fair to say that if you thought about empowering employees, igniting collaboration and promoting a culture of ownership and innovation, you might not automatically think of the Bank of England’s Data Division.
Yet in the Financial Times this week, Margaret Heffernan profiles Oliver Burrows, the Head of Statistics for Data Division within the Bank of England.
Over the last two years, Oliver has launched a number of experiments that have significantly impacted the way people work across the Bank.
These experiments all stemmed from Oliver’s participation on the excellent Fellowship programme, a ground-breaking Leadership development initiative created by the Forward Institute for senior leaders across public, private and not for profit organisations.
The Fellowship programme promotes the concept of Responsible Leadership, equipping participants (or Fellows) with the capacity to identify and implement ways in which their organisation can become more responsible.
Oliver’s facilitator on the Fellowship programme was CoCreate’s founder Andy Caldwell. Over many misty early mornings spent cycling together around Regents Park, they hatched and launched a number of experiments, including:
- Promoting a culture of self management by empowering employees and equipping managers with critical coaching skills;
- Solving complex organisational challenges around data management by utilising Social Network Analysis to identify issues and convene influencers;
- Building Psychological Safety, by convening in places that gave permission to people to bring their full selves to work;
- Applying Agile methodologies such as Design Thinking and SCRUM to complex problems and launching short-term, high energy ‘Sprints’ to take these on.
The results have ranged from ensuring the annual appraisal process was far more participatory, through to complex coding projects that have yielded significant value.
The success of these initiatives came down to Oliver’s willingness to take the ‘risk’ of inviting others to participate fully in tackling issues that they all faced.
Yet perhaps in the end, the greatest risk is organisations where leaders are so restricted by a sense of their power and place in the hierarchy, they are unable to work collectively to deliver real change.
Click here to read the Case Study of our work with Bank of England.
CoCreate helped me work through the issues we were having with a programme that was seeking to make big changes across our organisation. Thanks to your work, we were able to energise people, break down perceived barriers and spark new relationships and ideas within the project that are delivering a lasting impact on the way we work.Oliver Burrows – Head of Statistics and Regulatory Data Division, Bank of England