UNLOCKING BETTER FUTURES SO THE FUTURE IS BETTER FOR ALL – OUR MANIFESTO
UNLOCKING BETTER FUTURES SO THE FUTURE IS BETTER FOR ALL - OUR MANIFESTO
WHAT IS INNER CIRCLE?
We are a 21st century consultancy for 21st century challenges, aiming to deliver strong public services and thriving places so everyone can live a good life. The big missions of local government and its partners are our purpose. Working alongside the public sector for more than a decade, we know the impact of austerity, Covid and the cost of living crisis and we know that radical transformation and rebuilding civic trust in institutions are the only way to foresee and prevent future crises. Our success lies in the success of future leaders to maintain their organisations’ relevance and viability in a world marked by inequalities, and inadequacies in the public response.
Our ambition extends to the consultancy industry too. We know that a reset is required if consultancy is to walk alongside public sector clients to transform lives and services. We think a 21st century consultancy must dig much deeper to answer the challenges of our lifetimes and also advocate more assertively for public sector support, policy change and people-centred models of sustainable, place-based growth. Consultancy is currently widely understood as an extractive economy that takes and moves on. We want to establish a new consultancy that builds a symbiotic, regenerative relationship with local government.
At ICC we know that learning is key to continually developing our expertise to the level our clients need. We understand that answers are found in collaboration across public service departments, professional disciplines, academic fields and the wider world of business. To that end, we have established communities of practice as the crucible for our future knowledge. We bring together people with a common interest or profession to learn, share experience and understanding, and develop best practices within their field. Because we know that learning and knowledge creation happens via social interaction, not solely through individual effort.
Alongside this learning, our strong and growing multidisciplinary team of public sector experts and associates are ready to confront the knottiest problems. They have a track record of delivering the goods. The team’s performance and core values are rooted in their determination to deliver ambitious projects and their commitment to work that creates equal, sustainable prosperity.
A strong public sector is open to scrutiny. A strong public sector shares problems as a way to solving them faster. And strong public sector partners like Inner Circle step up to be part of that conversation, to examine their own responsibilities and capabilities, and to create the innovative support that this vital sector needs.
WHAT DO WE ALL NEED NOW?
The UK needs thriving local economies that provide secure jobs and the means to afford warm, safe homes. Self-sustaining and resilient communities need education systems that lead to skills and opportunities. Each neighbourhood needs to connect via healthy high streets and community hubs, and together foster good lives that mean more than financial stability. Everyone needs a secure environment in which the urgent challenges of clean air and climate change are addressed, and citizens feel close to nature and to one another.
Local governments and their partners want all of these things for their residents and their areas but their ambition is challenged by growing, complex demand and squeezed finances. More people are falling into poverty and poorer health, their diminished quality of life further increasing pressure for assistance, particularly in health and social care services. Place leaders know they must overcome these challenges and must do so by designing for the furthest first. The alternative is to risk financial failure, and a failure to deliver for residents and communities.
The answers are within reach of local government and its local public and private partners, who are best placed to take the long-term view and a local investment approach. Most are managing difficult conditions very well. We want to help them to unlock their full potential and create prosperity, not manage decline. We want to transform public service organisations so the people who need them feel they improve their lives and feel joyful to use, and so that public servants feel creative and relevant in organisations fit for a modern world, that focus on prevention instead of crisis.
Bright public services and thriving local places are deeply connected. Both are integral to achieving a good life for everyone. The essence of a good life is built on infrastructure and services but hinges also on community cohesion and belonging – so every individual feels respected and valued. Well-run and inspiring public places not only fulfil our basic needs but also bring delight and elevate our quality of life.
It is disheartening to witness the profound damage inflicted upon public services by a centralised policy mindset. Public services need everyone’s investment to unlock the agency, resources and support that they need to thrive – and to help all of us thrive too.
Inner Circle Consulting has learned over more than ten years that creating this kind of ambitious, lasting change requires whole system, integrated thinking. So we have crafted a holistic service offer for organisations that want to deliver inclusive growth.
HOW DO WE MAKE IT HAPPEN?
Our offer to you is together to work on:
Prosperous places for good lives
We have mapped all the ingredients of a flourishing place whose people feel connected and can flourish equally. We know what works, and from this we have devised tools and techniques that provide all the components of inclusive growth from strategy to delivery – from the vital and practical measures required to provide affordable housing and community support, to deeper, fundamental thinking about local ecosystems. In all of this we are guided by the true principles of regeneration, that apply equally and fundamentally to social and environmental place-making, so we protect, restore and revive.
Together we’ll explore your full range of data and intelligence about your place, your ability to develop strategy, to deliver development, to crowd in investment, to create local plans, to manage project portfolios, to make deals. Then we will help you to: build a foundational economy that addresses structural inequalities and social infrastructure needs; invest in local innovation and business by leveraging local assets; and apply a regenerative lens to every solution and technology so that as the community grows, it also grows its sustainability.
Moving from crisis to prevention
Our crisis to prevention work offers a tried and tested methodology for councils to delay and prevent the need for statutory intervention, as well as improving outcomes for local people, and reducing costs. We do this by finding and understanding people on the edge of crisis, using data and insight, then redesigning services in collaboration with communities and partners to address root causes earlier, building better futures and avoiding human and financial cost.
This way we help you to join up services from the perspective of people’s lived experiences, prioritise those with the highest potential needs, target the full range of resources (including community resources) towards tackling priority risk factors and root causes, and co-design solutions that are evidence-based and impactful.
Raising the bar for transformation in public services
We deploy transformation teams to work in deep collaboration with your team in order to enable the fundamental change organisations need to deliver the places and public services that people need. We create fit, forward-looking organisations that celebrate and support modern-day life and foster agency and hope.
Our team has direct experience of transforming places and public services while also running them. We have at our disposal benchmarking and insight tools and proven business case methodologies that help you discover opportunities to improve and save money, and then deliver them.
We will introduce you to our movement of people who also want to write a new blueprint for the public sector. Working with us should feel like a once in a career opportunity for you to redefine public service delivery with genuine service reinvention and not just tweaks to a straining system. With the right transformation programme, you will cut your costs, reduce waste, create better standards of service, build a happy workforce, establish financial and operational stability and restore trust with your communities and leave a legacy of places we would all choose to live in.
The key principles on which our work is founded:
Trust: Transparency, responsiveness, meeting our commitments and openness to scrutiny are vital in establishing trust in public services, the ecosystem of suppliers and advisors that support them, and the capacity of those services to shift from crisis management to a focus on early intervention and prevention.
When services operate with transparency, citizens can hold them accountable, leading to increased efficiency and a cycle of higher standards in public life. We reconnect civic institutions with the people they serve to build trust and a sense of progress.
Representation: Our strength lies in ensuring that every experience and background shapes our collective future, so that all voices are heard and listened to and given a chance to lead. We cultivate collaborative teams that mirror the multifaceted communities we serve, valuing each perspective as we progress towards a better future for all. We invest in a working environment in which we all help each other to be their best.
Delivery and change capacity: The detail does not look after itself. Knowing what has to be done can only be successful if applied with a deep knowledge of delivery change in a complex system, persuading individuals and groups to adopt the science and adapt to lessons learned. Our commitment lies not just in crafting visions but in breathing life into them.
Organisational and place leadership: Great leaders don’t go it alone. We mobilise collective intelligence, foster collaboration and drive systemic change to address complex challenges.
Information and insight: Better information, considered more carefully through the lens of deep experiences and open minds, informs better decisions and better investment of public funds.
Regenerative by design: Our commitment is to nourish, renew, and strengthen the places and communities we touch, ensuring they flourish long after our work is done. We stand out from the crowd in knowing that true success is not in what we take, but in what we leave behind.