Transforming organisations

Tuesday 27 October 2020

Public services organisations have been in transformation for decades but in 2010, at the height of the recession resulting from the global economic crash, activities became more focused.

Over the past ten years this sector has had to adapt to survive in response to austerity measures and demands on income generation, regulatory and legal tests, emerging technologies, and existential threats like climate change.

ALARM has reflected these strategic shifts in past guides, reports and articles; from new delivery models, to commercialisation, and digital transformation.

Now we are working in a new era of transformation. Organisations and individuals have had to act, on a large and small scale, to move with the times and respond with agility to a unique catalyst of global change: the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic has seen us delivering services in very different ways and will continue to see us delivering services to different people to before, as need grows and widens. It has tested our resilience and our intent, and it has changed the way we do things forever.

Reading the experiences of those who have shared their stories in this guide, primarily the response has been to accelerate and adapt many plans already in the pipeline; or at least confirm strategic decisions yet to be acted on.

Increased remote working seems to have been on the agenda of many organisations for some time, but in March 2020 it gained urgency and emphasis. Many office workers have experienced the emergence of a virtual world of work to fill the void of a face-to-face presence. Hopefully we can evolve and settle in quickly to a blended work culture where organisations provide a seamless digital platform alongside all important (and not to be dismissed) person-centred, physically-present, team working and delivery.

This guide intends to help risk and insurance professionals understand and implement some of the transformation trends we are seeing at the moment, as well as those that practitioners have lived through over the last couple of years and are expected to continue to progress.


Each section starts with a practitioner-led story that focuses on a particular aspect of organisational transformation from a personal point of view. It’s a chance to read cases studies, scenarios, best practice and lessons learnt at a time when it is more difficult to share professional experiences in person.

Each of the section stories finishes with guidance on dos and don’ts, outlining the main points the author wants to communicate with ALARM members. This is followed by the second part of the section, contributed by a sponsor, communicating their expertise on an allied subject.

The five sections in this guide are:

  • Creating resilient organisations and workforces
  • Transforming Police Scotland’s risk culture
  • Council transformation and COVID-19
  • Home and away - remote working
  • Social housing – creating a resilient business culture.

Although ALARM has been publishing guidance since its inception, this is the first time we have produced guidance with a personal touch. It’s our way of reflecting the present times and the growing interest in individual experiences and the need for human connection in our professional lives.

All those with published pieces in this guide have agreed to answer emails from ALARM members to share views, ideas and questions on the respective topics. If you would like to engage with more members and practitioners, there is ALARM’s Linkedin page, or go to the discussion forum on the ALARM website.

We hope you enjoy and take something from this guide. If you would like to see more on any of these topics do get in touch. Also, we welcome feedback on the content, style and format to help inform future publications. Please contact the ALARM Office.

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