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Implementing Change of Leeds City Council

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In 1999 with major changes taking place at the national level of government in the form of devolution, local councils were scrambling to ‘keep their heads above water’. During this time period, it was evident that each department was focused crisis after crisis within their own department and there was no vision for propelling the city into a cohesively run organisation (Leeds City, 2006, screen 1). Seeing the need for organisational change the leadership of Leeds City Council set about creating a culture of unified strategic direction and bring together all employees to focus on meeting the strategic needs of the city.In order to achieve this, the Chief Executive and his staff focused on the development of the Council’s Core Values as a first step in the process of organisational change. Once the core values had been identified council’s next step was to begin to create the atmosphere conducive to change. In the following paragraphs, we will examine how Leeds City Council was able to successfully launch a sweeping organisational change and a shift to continuous process improvement.Upon arriving at the council core values the Chief Executive understood that without the support of employees the core values established would be nothing more than words on paper. The next step the executive undertook was to educate and gain acceptance for this move towards organisational change. A meeting was organised for all key management personnel, a total of 150 managers, in order to instil the “Vision for Leeds” into the culture of the council and ensure management understood ‘the council’s objectives and the cultural change needed to bring them about’ (Leeds City, 2006, screen 1).Before an organisation can effectively make a change they have to understand what change is and what it is not. “The creation of healthy change is about living comfortably with conditions of constant change, and finding ways to create, within those conditions, pathwaysfor accomplishing desired objectives through continuous adaptation.”