Monday 11 May 2020

I find myself sharing this blog from a very different place in my organisation to normal. I carry the resilience lead for Dundee City Council, as well as running some key worker staffed services.

Clearly the resilience team is right in the centre of our response, but we have also assumed responsibilities under the broad banner of ‘resilience’. I am now the single point of contact for Dundee’s shielded and vulnerable cohort of citizens, and my service is the single pathway for issue of PPE for the social care network across Dundee. Additionally, a friend and fellow ALARM member in Dundee is now one of our food distribution centre coordinators! Changed times indeed.

Many ALARM members will be in similar circumstances. Work looks and feels a very different place. Given the tone of all UK governments, lockdown will not be lifted anytime soon, and when ‘eased’ will be a slow, cautious process.

There is so much uncertainty around what the new normal will look like, it is tempting to rush to identify the real and pressing risks focused on negative outcomes for our organisations and citizens.

However, in adversity there are always opportunities, and I would like to share some areas where I think opportunity does indeed knock!

  • Pace of work. We are operating at a rate than cannot be sustained in the long term, but are we really going to go back to the old ways?
  • Authority delegation has never been more effective. We surely can’t let old hierarchical ways of working re-emerge?
  • Previously sought after join-ups have happened due to urgent necessity. We need to cement those forged relationships and joint working.
  • I am sure you have all experienced a howling dog during a Zoom meeting or teleconference, but remote contact with colleagues has become the norm. It challenges us to think about how we work in the future.
  • The engagement of the voluntary sector working hand in hand with local authorities and the wider public sector, has never been stronger and we need to retain that model.
  • And finally….personal, public and workplace hygiene has never been better and it is unthinkable we could ever go back to previous standards.

Keep safe and well everyone.

Graeme Mackenzie,  Community Safety and Resilience Service Manager, Dundee City Council and ALARM Board Director.


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