The first Local Authority Challenge took place at Carrow Road, in Norwich (Norfolk) towards the end of October 2013. Twelve councils from across the Eastern region were represented, with Suffolk County Council taking home the "Best Team Trophy".
Since then, the Challenge has been delivered across England with regional events in the South West, South East, the North East, West Midlands, East Midlands and most recently London. Hundreds of local councils, of all sizes, have stepped forward to take on the Challenge - whilst a lucky few have walked away with a trophy (or two) all those taking part have learnt something positive about themselves that they can take back to their workplace. And it's not just local councils that have participated - we have seen other public sector organisations from central government departments, the police and fire service, the NHS as well as both the private and the voluntary sectors all putting themselves forward (with some great success stories along the way).
Versions of the Local Authority Challenge have also been delivered to support the national LG Challenge, the District Council Network leadership programme and the LGA National Graduate Development Programme as well as an in-house event for numerous councils as part of their own development and talent spotting programmes. And in 2019 the concept was adapted further with a Challenge purely for those undertaking a local government apprenticeship.
The Challenge is open to teams from across all sectors - don’t worry if you are not a local authority team as full background briefs will be provided!
Delegates, in teams of six, will spend the day as the interim management team of a fictional unitary authority, encountering many of the tasks that a real corporate team would deal with. Whilst the scenario is based on a local authority organisation, the skills being developed and tested are generic management skills that are applicable to all workplaces – even political awareness which, in its broadest sense (and certainly in the sense in which it is used when considering emotional intelligence) is about understanding the ‘currents’, or hidden agendas, in an organisation, and particularly the power relationships. Used wisely and well, political awareness is a force for good, and for getting things done in organisations, and it is an essential skill in life.
The delegates will have to work as a team, with both neighbouring councils and partner organisations to deliver a new strategy for the council. They’ll have to choose which areas to prioritise, deal with politically sensitive issues and still keep their focus on how to give the public the best services with limited resources. The Challenge will offer a rare opportunity for aspiring managers across all sectors to gain exposure to issues outside of their normal working lives and give them a taste of what senior management may be like!
The learning and devlopment outputs include:
We are also looking for volunteers to act as stakeholders and meet with competing teams throughout the day. Please follow the link below for more information.
Breckland Training Services is wholly owned and operated by Breckland District Council
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