Cultural Transformation through Organisational Development

Superintendent Dave Hill and Lewis Gabb on transformation at Northamptonshire Police


Superintendent Dave Hill and Lewis Gabb gave a great presentation at the Triaster event 'Enabling Change in the Public Sector', held on 5th February 2015. What they covered is captured below. Unfortunately what fails to come across is their energy and enthusiasm. They are both very engaging speakers.


Lewis Gabb set the scene by stating that Northamptonshire has a population of 640,000 people, and Northamptonshire Police employ 1,300 Officers and 1,200 Police staff.

Big Picture

Superintendent Dave Hill explained that the first round of the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) in 2010 cut £18.5 million from the Northamptonshire Police budget 2011-12 to 2014-15. Their response to this was to 'salami slice' where they could, but essentially to continue to work as before.

When the second round CSR in 2013 cut a further £23.5 million from their 2015-16 budget, they realised they need to think differently. They needed a Transformational Programme.


They applied to the Innovation Fund - a government fund to enable change - to implement changes in every area: Culture, People, Strategy, Structure and Process.


Superintendent Dave Hill explained that he is immersed in current Police culture, but even so he recognises that it needs to change. Traditionally, Police culture has been about doing. 'What are you doing? What are you going to do?' With the transformation programme they have started looking at core skills, leadership, wellbeing and talent management.


Traditionally the Police have recruited people very similar to those already in the force, the culture being 'if you look like me and sound like me you must be talented.' They have started to challenge this mindset by, for example, expanding the use of Volunteers, Specials and Cadets and now have the largest number of Specials per head of population.


This is set out in the annual policing plan, which has one overarching ambition: to make Northamptonshire the safest place in England. A new approach introduced is Agile working supported by mobile data, enabling Police and Police staff to work from anywhere. This reduces the need to go back-to-base to enter data and will ultimately reduce the number of premises needed.


Very similar services are delivered by for example, both the Police and Fire service. Significant efficiency gains and cost reductions will be achieved from amalgamating those services. In the first instance Northamptonshire Police are working towards an amalgamated team fleet.


In 2013 they recognised that in order to understand their processes they would need to map them.

When they asked for recommendations for a process management and improvement solution on LinkedIn, the response was: Triaster.

Triaster started with the Command and Control process. Using a mix of existing Visio process maps, interviewing subject matter experts and reviewing processes, Triaster consultants have mapped the endto-end crime process, capturing a coherent business process for publication to 'Pathfinder' - the name of the Northamptonshire Police Process Library.

This means that not only is the full end-to-end crime process properly understood and impacts can be modelled before a change is made, but also once Pathfinder is launched, everyone in Northamptonshire Police will be able to reference the correct process, together with the correct linked documents, forms etc.

Just in capturing the AS-IS end-to end process, several improvement opportunities have been uncovered; moving forward, having a system to model evidenced based policing is the goal.

Culture eats strategy for breakfast

The Police culture of just getting on with it and doing something doesn't sit well with the objective of evidenced based policing; it's felt to be too slow.

Problems are dealt with by deploying 1 + 8 (one Sergeant and eight Officers) - a quick response that everyone is very familiar with. However there is no mechanism to collect tangible evidence to measure whether this is the best method, in terms of efficiency or long term effectiveness.

However the Analyst's approach: Define - Measure - Analyse - Improve - Control - is just too slow for Police culture.


The Holy Grail of service delivery/production is to achieve all three (Good, Cheap, Fast service) through continuous improvement and process refinement...
Tim Ozdemir

Referencing the quote above Northamptonshire Police had asked the question: 'So how do we do that?'

The answer they determined was: 'By investing up-front in a 21st century business intelligence mechanism.'

Capturing their processes in Pathfinder is not only capturing a model of what happens, but also all associated forms and guidance and who is responsible. Once the AS-IS is captured, potential changes can be modelled so that their impact is understood before they are actually made, thereby reducing the risk of wasting tax payers money on failed changes.


Triaster are capturing the Business Intelligence on which the whole Transformation Programme is built. As Superintendent Dave Hill concluded:

We're very good at Crime Intelligence; the challenge for us is capturing Business Intelligence...which is why we've partnered with Triaster.
Superintendent Dave Hill










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