Transform Feb21 front cover feature image

Transform magazine 

Transform Magazine

Transform Magazine is for all Public Servants Seeking to Transform Local Public Service

We created Transform as a source of information to share helpful advice and showcase public service transformations in alignment with our goal of sharing best practice across the public sector. The magazine covers a wide variety of topics about local public service improvement across the UK.

Mobile Stories – January 2022

Only interested in one topic in particular? We’ve broke down the magazine into mobile stories allowing you to easily access the content you want to read at the touch of a button. Have a read of our mobile stories by clicking on the links below.

Why digital has a “massive” role to play in transformation

Dave Briggs is former Head of Digital Operations at Croydon Council, has held various consulting and interim roles. Here, we speak to him about digital transformation: what he’s seen, what councils should be doing and why digital is so vital for the future of public service. Click here to read more.

Joining Heads on Design in Public Services

In a recent online panel discussion, Dr Andrew Larner, John Comber, and Molly Balcom Raleigh discussed design principles and how they can benefit the reinvention of public services. Click here to read more.

What Role Could AI Play in Tackling Complex Issues

AI offers a powerful and fast way to filter global best practice. In this article we look at how local authorities could use the technology to make agile process on complex issues. Click here to read more.

Why Community Enablement Matters

Community engagement is a term local government is rapidly becoming familiar with. Here, Professor Donna Hall CBE, explains why it works and is now a necessary shift rather than a radical option. Click here to read more.

Using Design Principles in Local Public Services

iESE has been using design principles to inform its own product design. Here we look at how design has helped shape two upcoming products – a new Case Management System for the social care sector and Alchemy, an online networking platform for public sector professionals. Click here to read more.

Shaping Services Through Human-Centred Design

Dr Jules Maitland is the founder and managing director of humancentred design agency All In. The agency is based in Canada but works with not-for-profit and government organisations worldwide to help address social problems through the human-centred design of public services and social change. Click here to read more.

Welcome Letter – January 2022

How design principles can help create authorities of the future

At iESE we are seeing a changing focus in local government and other public services away from being the provider of services towards a model of community enablement. We think in the years ahead, 90 per cent of authorities will move away from a service delivery model towards one of community enablement where they analyse and understand demand, then seek to get as much of this demand as possible dealt with before it becomes a need for local public services.

To get to this place we have to look to the future and how it is becoming a reality a bit at the time in the best local authorities, and use this to build a better picture of what the local public services of the future should look like. Local authorities should no longer have to make decisions based on out-of-date information. Digital systems, the internet of things and data analytics can now provide information in real-time and provide accurate foresight for what is most likely to come. This changing world is providing both opportunities and risks, all of which have to be navigated to get to the best possible future. The likes of robotics, artificial intelligence and drones, are providing opportunities to improve local public services, but we also have unprecedented challenges for the environment and the economy.

To become an authority of the future, we need to plan simultaneously for the short, medium and long-term, whilst moving towards turning as many as our services as possible into what the iESE Transformation Framework describes as Level Three transformation. This is where communities are enabled, services are truly reinvented— not just improved upon – and as much demand as possible is prevented or diverted, significantly reducing the demand for local public services and making communities more vibrant, sustainable and resilient.

For example, building more hospitals to deal with the sick is right to get the waiting lists down short-term, but the real long-term challenge is increasing wellbeing so less people get sick in the first place. In the medium-term we might help people adopt healthier lifestyles whilst introducing Level Three transformations – one such idea could be increasing the level of first aid knowledge taught in the education curriculum to reduce the strain on the health service of minor injuries.

Rather than wait for Government to bail the industry out, local government needs to do what it does best and get on with delivering its own solutions. For local authorities to enable their communities they need to adopt this as the key purpose and look to reinvent their services. Working with their communities and stakeholders to provide an environment in which they can engage, communicate, be active, and innovate. In this way individuals, communities and stakeholders will find ways to develop their own solutions and create services to meet their own needs and demands. Whilst this type of approach is increasingly being spoken about, the means to achieve it are harder to see. It needs new approaches and design principles are a very powerful tool not currently widely used in public service which can be used to produce such radical change. iESE has developed two new services – one is a strategic look, while the other is a toolkit. The new services draw on design principles, which allow you to take the best of what you are doing and add it to the best of what everyone else is doing worldwide. We want to minimise the risk to local authorities by sharing best and future practice.

It involves working closely with the community to understand what their hopes, dreams and aspirations are and getting those embedded into community and corporate plans that the council then works with its communities and stakeholders to deliver together across the whole of their geography. Working on the community plan – living, eating and breathing it – and understanding that Level Three change is absolutely significant is vital.

We can help public sector organisations already moving towards community enablement, and authorities looking for solutions to see the community enablement outcomes. What we do know for certain is that the local authority of the future will require the reinvention of almost everything they currently do.

Get in touch with any feedback on this issue or with views for inclusion in a future edition by emailing Annabelle at

John Comber and the iESE Team

Issue 23 (October 2021) Statistics



Av. Read Time (mins)

feb21 transform website international reads map

Transform Magazine Readership

Transform magazine is published on a quarterly basis within the following channels:

  • It is directly posted to all Chief Executives and Council Leaders across the UK
  • iESE online: published on our issuu site with a current readership of around 1200
  • The MJ: a bound insert within the MJ which is circulated to 40,000 senior officer
  • Solace: published within their newsletter which is distributed to their members and is available to view on their website

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