Brand leadership must begin at the heart of Whitehall

I’d like to respond to two of the issues raised about Government and design with regard to your recent article (DW 17 May).

First, I’d echo the important theme of consistency raised in your Comment.

Government delivers its policies through brands, which must have a clear purpose and relationship with the public. These brands are here to stay. We experience them daily, whether we’re returning our tax return or picking up a prescription. What Whitehall needs is a communications framework that enables these brands to be appropriately conceived, clearly differentiated, to evolve effectively and be integrated together.

As for the Number 10 agenda, I’d promote more effective professional practice. Government must think laterally, not literally, about how it works with the design industry to get the best results. Whitehall is in the position to empower the best creative minds to work together for the social good by creating better ways of working. This has to begin with brand leadership from within Whitehall.

In what has been described as the ‘new emotional economy’, Whitehall’s modernisation agenda needs to connect with people’s heads, hearts and hands. These are my observations.

Heads: Government must allow specialists to collaborate in partnership with clients to build a greater understanding of their needs.

Hearts: Government must enable communicators to be involved at the heart of the process so we can contribute to the big ideas.

Hands: Government must untie our hands, so consultancies can get closer to the real issues to deliver faster, smarter and more effective joined up answers.

I hope this sounds like common sense. Whitehall and its consultancies rarely work like this, and when they do it works well. If Government can innovate the way it works with us we can achieve the positive outcomes we all want for our society.

Teamwork and partnership must be at the heart of it all.

Julian Grice

Managing director

The Team

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