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BI podcast transcription: Rossendale Leisure Trust

Transcript of episode 12 of Nudges for Social Good.

Rhian Gladman: Hi there and welcome to the latest episode of the Nudges for Social Good podcast from the Local Government Association. My name is Rhian Gladman, and I manage the Behaviour Change programme here at the LGA, and as you know, our aim is to de-mystify behavioural insights and behaviour change and provide practical learning for councils to then take away and try out in their own authority, in their own place. So, today, we're going to take a slightly different approach and rather than hearing about a council's specific behavioural insights project, we're going to be hearing about the work that a leisure trust is doing to change behaviour at key life milestones, for example, maybe, losing your job or having a baby, and I'm joined by Ken Masser, chief executive of the Rossendale Leisure Trust. Hi there, Ken.


(TC: 00:01:02) 

Ken: Hi, thanks for having me on.


(TC: 00:01:05) 

Rhian Gladman: Thanks for joining us today, Ken, and over to you, really. I'm really interested to learn more about the approach that you're taking in Rossendale, so over to you to introduce yourself and the work that you've been doing.


(TC: 00:01:16) 

Ken: Okay, great. Well, hi everyone, my name's Ken. As Rhian says, I'm chief executive of the Leisure Trust, but I also work part-time on a Sport England project called the Local Delivery Pilots, where we work a bit more broadly than Rossendale, right across Pennine Lancashire, which includes Burnley and Pendle and Blackburn, Hyndburn and Ribble Valley, and we've been working on this project for about four years or so, and really innovative approach, I think, from Sport England in terms of the way they've tried to conceive the project and what we're looking at, and so the idea is that we're looking at different ways to approach systems, system change or behaviours within the system, being local government, NHS, community partners, leisure trusts, etc., and specifically how we can change that systemic approach in order to lead more people to live more active lifestyles. So, I think Sport England found, and probably fairly common knowledge, really, that there's about 25 per cent of the population, nationally, roughly, who are physically active, or exercise for less than 30 minutes a week. That, despite all Sport England's investment over the last ten, 20, 30 years, that kind of proportion hasn't really changed much, and so this new approach from Sport England was to say, rather than funding specific programmes or projects, let’s look at a more system-wide approach and a test and learn model to see, well, what could we do differently that might actually move that needle, if you like, on the dial, to reduce overall the level of inactivity.


So, yes, for four years or so we've been working on that, and we've tried lots of different things, and one of the things, as you mentioned, that's really stuck out to us and been a foundational theory, if you like, or piece of our work, has been this idea that we as people have different moments in our lives where things happen, and whilst our lives are unique, those life-course events have some general-, there's some commonality there. Some general events that tend to happen to people at different stages of life. So, we all transition from primary school to secondary school, for example. Many of us will start a first job, many of us will have children. Many of us may lose a job or become critically ill or become a carer, or suffer bereavement, so in these different life course moments we've looked at, does physical activity levels change? Does the sense of well-being change in those moments? And we found that it often does. And so, we've looked at how can we work with that knowledge to try and change the way in which we interact with people to be more well-being focused and less process-focused in those moments of transition for people's lives. So, very broadly, that's the work that we're doing in Pennine, and I'm looking forward to discussing it a bit more with you today.


(TC: 00:04:19) 

Rhian Gladman: That's great, Ken, that's great. I hear what you're saying there about that systems approach to behaviour change, and I guess traditionally in the public sector, we have looked at individual specific projects that might try a nudge or an intervention in one smaller part of the system, but what you're talking about is a much more looking across the system, and a much more holistic approach to changing behaviour. I'm just interested to know, what have you learned through taking that bigger, wider approach so far?


(TC: 00:04:48) 

Ken: I think, yes, that wider approach is really based on the premise that people's lives are complicated, and there's lots of influences in someone's life, particularly those who are living in communities, perhaps, with lower socio-economic opportunities, lower sense of well-being and health, and so sadly, many people are living difficult, pressured, sometimes chaotic lives, and just focusing on one thing, we quickly realised by chatting with those people potentially, and saying, 'Do you know, being physically active could really help you?' is not that helpful, no matter how we delivered it or what the nudge is, because, 'I'm worried about what I'm going to give my kids for lunch today, or my washing machine's broken, I've got no way to fix it,' and so there's all these types of things might be going on in people's lives. And so, one of the things we've looked at and learned is, how as the local council and the NHS and GPs and third sector organisations, how can we coordinate, connect and collaborate in a way that enables us to support people in a holistic way, that can really be life-changing? And lead to, as you've said, behaviour change, a different perspective on life, and to helping them to tackle some of those really deep-rooted problems and inequalities, and I think we've learned that generally, public servants want to help people.


So, that's been really powerful, and I've been really moved, actually, by that kind of deep-rooted sense of wanting to make a difference in communities, but I think we've also learnt that we, as public sector, are very fragmented and disconnected, even within a council or a CCG, the different departments often don't work together in unison. Often quite silo-based working, and some of that comes just from a lack of communication, and probably, I'd say, one of the biggest things we've learned, from a lack of capacity to think, to really take time to step back and say, well, we're going through all these motions, processes, policies, every day, we're doing different types of work, but when was the last time we sat down for a day and thought about what we're doing, why we're doing it, how are we doing that, and is that the most effective way? Is there a different way, a more connected way? And one of the things that the Sport England project has really given us is the ability to have some capacity, some resource, to take some people out of that system. And so, within our project team, we have colleagues from the NHS, from local authority, from the third sector, seconded in for one or two days a week from all different parts of the system, but given time to think. And probably for the first year, we spent a lot of time just reviewing, assessing, learning from other places, understanding what our system looked like in Pennine Lancashire, what were the different parts, how did they interact?


So, that's been a really big learning for us, that actually-, and I think probably most people experience this. You can go for months, if not years sometimes in the same job without really taking some significant time to ponder on whether it's going well. If we're doing the right things at the right time and how it could be better, and that's not a sense that people are-, as I say, I think public servants, more than, perhaps, I anticipated when I came into this field, are deeply committed to and passionate about communities, but often don't have the time, necessarily, to consider whether there are more effective ways to tackle the challenges that our communities face. So, I think those would be some of the big learnings. The other thing that really stands out to me is that I often hear the phrase bandied around about communities being hard to reach, and that seems to be within our sector, we talk about that a lot. One of the things we've realised is that communities are not hard to reach, maybe we're just the wrong people to reach them, and one of the things that we've been doing with regards to this life course kind of approach and looking at these moments where the system and life meets-, systems and lives meet, is that systems and lives do meet all the time. So, if you lose your job, you typically will go to the Job Centre and interact with the system there. If you become ill, you'll interact with your GP. If you start a new job, you'll interact with your HR department, whatever that might be, either private or public sector. When you move house, you'll come into contact with the council regarding council tax or similar. So, there's lots of moments where people within our organisations, local government or other public sector organisations, are interacting with people all the time, but often, very often, there's no part of that interaction which is based on a more holistic approach to the person's well-being.


So, it tends to be focused on one particular job, I need to do one thing, I need to get this person registered for council tax, I need to prescribe this person with antidepressants, I need to get this person registered on my IT system, so they get the relevant information sent out to them. Of course, all those things are important, but the conversations very rarely go beyond that. But it's in these moments, where people have high stress or are changing circumstances significantly, where the risk of them becoming inactive or unwell are the highest. So, we just feel like there's lots of missed opportunities there, and that's some of the things that we've been working on in recent years.


(TC: 00:10:59) 

Rhian Gladman: And I think a lot of the behavioural science literature tells us that those moments of change and transition is when we're most open as humans, as people, to forming new habits or doing something different, and it's almost-, I guess what you're saying is taking those opportunities of interaction between the system and local residents, at those times of change to influence positively behaviour and they're almost like golden nuggets, they are really positive points that you can start to do that, and obviously we've got councils who've-, there are many examples of where people move house and move into the local area registering to vote, registering for council tax, free swimming passes, it used to be free gym passes, do you want to come to a community lunch? When I moved into my local council a couple of years ago. So, there are those examples of those individual bits of the system, but I guess what you're talking about is a much more looking around the whole system, around the whole of the person, and not just having one-offs? Is it more that sort of approach? Is that fair?


(TC: 00:12:07) 

Ken: Yes, I think, yes, absolutely, and it's those one-offs, but in a coordinated, structured way, and so that they're not one-offs, so that there's, like you say, that wrap-around sense of support to local residents. So, I think that's one part of what we're doing. The other part is actually connecting the system to itself so that not only are we-, because there's something about behaviour change in communities, right, that we're looking for people, potentially, to change their behaviour or approaches in order to be happier, or more successful or more self-reliant or resilient, whatever it might be, but there's also-, I think, to achieve that, we need to change our behaviour within the system, and one of our principles is that-, one of my personal views is that the system-, our place systems, it doesn't exist, it's not a thing. Systems don't exist in that way. It's just a collection of people who have perspectives and attitudes and beliefs, and then those people make decisions, and then they potentially make decisions together based on a variety of forces or pressures. But the only way the system will change is if we as people are changing. New attitudes, new approaches, becoming more aware, more understanding, more empathic, more connected, more collaborative, whatever it might be. So, the ways in which we interact as colleagues within public sector and local government, that can change, and I sometimes think we, perhaps, don't realise the power that change can have, and we don't necessarily mean change of policy or a process, necessarily only that, but actually, the how it's applied, the behaviour of the people who are applying it.


So, you can decide, I'm going to consult on whether we should launch a new lunch time club for residents, for example, in your example, but there's lots of ways to do that. One way is to send a letter. Another way would be to ring you up. A different way might be to knock on your door and talk to you about it. Another way might be to have resident connectors within the community who actually go and connect with residents on their streets. So, there's lots of different ways to do things, and the how things are done, I think, is really important, in the way in which we really engage with and interact with each other and communities. So, I think one of the things that we're learning is that, yes, there's behaviour change in communities that we can influence through our nudges, through our interactions, through taking these opportunities in a coordinated way, to interact more holistically with residents, but there's also this sense that-, what can we change in terms of the how we approach things in our work, in our systems, in our interactions between departments and councils and our interactions with community groups, voluntary sector organisations and others? And so, I can maybe give you an example of what I mean that might help. So, we did some work with the Department for Work and Pensions, and that work is ongoing. It's been interrupted quite significantly because of Covid, and job centres were really focused on, quite rightly, on supporting people in a very hands-on way during Covid, but pre-Covid, we did a range of work with them where we looked at how they engage with their customers, and the first thing we did is a customer engagement event.


We had about a hundred job centre customers come along to a job centre in Pennine Lancashire and we did some activities with them, quite interactive activities, where they were playing things like hopscotch, they were talking about what activity did I used to enjoy when I was growing up, and going through the decades, sort of game where they were looking at different things. We had map exercises where they put pins in the different places that they might go, talked about how they travel, whether it's by bus, on foot or bike, or whatever it might be. We did an activity where they could write on the white board, on a big white board, the one thing they would change if they could be the boss of the job centre for a day. So, we did all this interaction with them, and these were people who were long-term unemployed, and the Job Centre, DWP, hadn't interacted with for months, if not years. So, they were long-term claimants, and we learned that by putting on a different type of activity that was very thoughtfully designed so that it was easy to access, so that it wasn't scary or difficult, so it tried to overcome those barriers that potentially a job centre event might evoke from people who have been long-term unemployed, and people were able to open up and express themselves in a way that they felt that they had never been able to before. So, we did an engagement event, but how we did it was really important in terms of what we were able to then get out of it from customers. So, they'd probably done engagement events before where people came in and filled in a form, or had a one to one conversation with the job coach, who maybe they've had a difficult relationship with in the past, or whatever.


So, we did something quite different, and then we did staff engagement events where we talked to the work coaches about the feedback that had come through that session with customers, but also some techniques and ideas for how they could interact with customers differently, and the final stage, then, is we did some work with the part of the Job Centre, DWP, to particularly support those with disability living allowance, just to think about, how could they interact with those people differently who tend to be long-term claimants of support, and build better relationships in order to actually focus on well-being? How could we support these people to improve their well-being? And potentially, then, with that, long-term, improve their ability to work in a setting that would be right for them. Then Covid hit and that work, in truth, all paused, but has since, in recent time, come back, and particularly with the cohort of job centre staff working with those with disability allowance, and excuse me if I'm not quite getting some of the terminology here right around DWP, but they've decided now to hold quarterly well-being workshops for all their claimants, open drop-ins in community settings, not in the job centre, where people can come along and interact and get some peer support between each other, but also interact with staff from the job centre, but specifically focused around well-being.


And so, that's maybe a good example of where we're looking at how we interact with customers, but also changing the how we do things within our system, and the other thing that they're doing with DWP that they don't, perhaps in our area haven't done as well in the past is, at those well-being workshops, there will be all of their partners, voluntary organisations, third sector organisations, charities and statutory partners who have a role in supporting the people in this cohort and bringing them together as well, all in a space just to have informal connections, conversations, and try to unlock some of these barriers and challenges that people face, specifically around their well-being. So, those two things, the changing the system, and trying to change the interactions/the behaviour of the individuals, when those two things align that's when we're seeing a lot of really interesting progress, if you like, and things becoming better, both system partners, employees who are happier, who are more satisfied, feel like they're making a bigger difference in a more engaging, natural way, and then residents who feel like they're actually being heard, listened to, treated in a humane and holistic way with colleagues who really are trying to understand what life is like rather than applying a standardised process to those people. So, that's probably one of the examples that brings those two things together.


(TC: 00:21:03) 

Rhian Gladman: I guess to summarise really this project or this approach has given you and the project team, like you say, some thinking time to stand back, think about the system, think about people's interactions holistically and then to almost think about how we can change the behaviour of the public sector workforce in how they're engaging with local residents at these very stressful times, transition points, to have a very different conversation, a different interaction, and understand more about where people are coming from, how they experience these services. So, it's not just trying to change local behaviour, you're changing the public sector workforce behaviour as well in that interaction, and now you're having those conversations about well-being, which my assumption would be wouldn't have been happening before this project. It would have been very much, as you say, we've gone from a process approach here to a more well-being approach, because obviously losing your job, trying to find a job, has a huge impact on your well-being, and now that is starting to be acknowledged and addressed through this project. Is that fair?


(TC: 00:22:17) 

Ken: Yes, that's a good summary. Yes, and it's really exciting, and fair to say that there's still a long way to go yet. You know, we've not accomplished even a small part probably of all of the stuff that we've seen that could be different and could be better, but yes, that's a good summary of where we've been and where we're heading. We gain a lot of really good traction with partners for the scope of what could be accomplished, and I think maybe particularly as we come out of COVID it feels really invigorating and really ambitious and really exciting, and the changes that we're seeing that are effective are ones that it's much more enjoyable to work this way as well. You know, it feels much more rewarding, and we're getting a sense of that from partners who we're working with as well. It's not only potentially a more effective way to work and a more effective way to support communities, but a happier one, and I think that's really important, particularly in the public sector, particularly post-pandemic. Life's hard for a lot of people, and we need to perhaps try and find a bit more joy in our working lives and get back to that point of why we joined the public sector workforce in the first place, to make a difference and to make our places better if we can and to support local people. So, I think that's an important part of it as well.


(TC: 00:23:51) 

Rhian Gladman: So, you say the project's starting to get back on track at the moment, the DWP one. A key thing we always get asked about is how are we going to measure the success of our behaviour interventions, how you measure those outcomes. Can you say a bit more about your plans to measure the success of the projects as you go forward?


(TC: 00:24:13) 

Ken: Yes, I think there are probably three layers to our evaluation really. The first is population level data, so we're specifically focused on physical activity, and so Sport England do something called the Active Lives survey, which looks at physical activity, exercise and sport in a very large sample size all across the country, and a lot of resource and expertise goes into that. So, we're monitoring that. We're also partnered with Liverpool University, who are doing whole population data analysis for Pennine Lancashire on all kinds of things, hospital admissions, all sorts of different stuff, trying to look for trends, particularly with the cohorts of people that we're working with. That said, I think there's a recognition within our project team that to shift whole population data takes time, and it's hard to measure whole population shifts, particularly with the impact of COVID, but we are looking at that. The second thing that we are doing is an evaluation technique called ripple effect mapping, so we are working with partners to regularly proactively review the work that they've done, the things that they've learnt, the changes that they've made, but also the knock-on effects that that might have had at other parts of the system, so this idea of ripple effects.


There's some really good work coming out of Bristol and Sheffield and others are working on, and our team in Pennine, at looking at how do we effectively map these ripple effects so that we can see what difference this is having at different layers of the system. A lot of that is qualitative, but a formal process of reviewing and reflection. The third thing really that we're doing is trying to evaluate in a really qualitative way the experience of people working within or impacted by the project itself. So, we are trying to evaluate what are the types of behaviours, what are the types of personality traits, the characteristics, the approaches of people working in the system who are trying to lead change? What are the type of thing that those people either are or that they do which effectively leads to changed attitudes, behaviours, approaches, mind-sets? So, we've just started doing some work, probably in the last six months or so, looking at those kinds of characteristic traits, but also the behaviours that enable change, and collating those qualitatively, but en masse.


So, talking to everyone who's involved with or connected to the project and trying to draw out common themes in terms of the types of behaviours, character approaches, skills that people typically tend to have who are being effective in the space in terms of driving change. So, I think those are probably the three layers of evaluation, so the population-wide stuff, we're really looking at the changes that are occurring within the system and what those changes lead to in terms of ripple effect mapping, and then looking at the behaviours that people have.


(TC: 00:27:59) 

Rhian Gladman: So, I guess, Ken, what you're looking to do there, you're looking to not only evaluate the behaviour change outcomes across local communities, but also the behaviour change, the traits, the characteristics of those public sector or those public servants, and how they're able to make behaviour change happen as well. So, you're looking at it both externally and internally, and I think that would be really interesting, I'd be keen to share that across our local government colleagues as well, particularly that piece around the workforce, so that sounds excellent. So, DWP workforce example. Are there any other examples you'd like to share of this approach that you're taking? 


(TC: 00:28:42) 

Ken: I think probably two that spring to mind that I think have been really interesting and particularly applicable perhaps to local government colleagues, so the first, we've been doing a really exciting piece of work specifically in Rossendale, but is now blossoming across all of Pennine with schools, and particularly primary schools, looking at levels of physical activity within the primary school setting. That's something, sport premium funding and others, there's a lot of work that goes into sport and exercise and physical activity within schools. The work that we've been doing is to assess and look at what's happening at a strategic level, at the SLT level within a school, but also within the schools' development plans and strategic plans with regards to physical activity and well-being. So, in our place in particular, schools had a lot of third-party groups coming in to support PE and sport coaching and things like that, and that was a positive model for bringing PE and physical activity and sport into primary schools. We really wanted to look at, kind of, what difference does it make if strategic-led leaders within school settings have a different or a new or a deeper sense of priority for physical activity and well-being? So, we managed to bring together a programme called Ready, Set, Rossendale, which is part of the local delivery pilot.


We found a headteacher who was really passionate about physical activity and well-being in schools, and we gave him some time and capacity to think about how could we change the strategic priorities or support headteachers to think differently about physical activity and sport in school? Together we managed to bring together all of the-, I think there are 32 primary schools in Rossendale, so a fairly small borough, but brought together all 32 headteachers plus the six high school headteachers for a series of sessions where we talked about what difference would it make or how could we change the way in which we work for physical activity not to be a curriculum subject only? That's physical education, but how can physical activity run throughout the school day, and what were the benefits of that, and how in practice can that be implemented? So, through this series of workshops we looked at things like the strategic plan for schools, and whether physical activity was a priority, we talked about and shared lots of good practice around embedding physical activity across the curriculum, so how can maths be more physically active? How can science be more physically active? So, looking at how can we take different elements of the maths curriculum into the playground and do interactive physical things that might make it actually easier for children to understand some principles or various perspectives on something relating to maths or any curriculum subject really?


Looked at forest schools, but it's expanding forest school to be more embedded in the science curriculum, for example. So, we did a lot of that work, and some really good work emerging from that, and we've built on, partnered and connected with some very exciting work they're doing in Bradford around young people. They've developed a framework called the Creating Active Schools Framework, which is this idea of how do we take the whole school, let's not fix PE, PE might need some input, PE could maybe be improved in different schools on a school-by-school basis, but actually how do you create an active school environment rather than an active moment within the school week? So, a really good PE lesson twice a week is not the same as having an active school environment. The final piece of work that we're just in the middle of now is then we offered a middle leaders development programme for aspiring members of the senior leadership team, and are doing a year-long project with them, a personal career development project, looking at physical activity and the way in which they may be able to take a more strategic approach to well-being in schools. A lot of that work then has been about layering in support of GP and partners, working more closely with the public health department in the county council, and as well being more connected, not only within the school network, but then, again, with these other partners, community partners with parents and others.


So, other elements of that project are things like opening primary school grounds up for communities to be able to use the field to play rounders or have a picnic on a Saturday afternoon, so a whole range of work-streams. So, that would be one. The other that we've done, but again, paused slightly due to COVID, but is just starting to come back was around maternity services and working with midwives and health visitors around new parents. What's really interesting to me, so I've got five children, so we've had some interactions with midwives and health visitors in our place, and always exceptional, the support that we've had, and obviously and quite rightly the support around the baby and looking after the baby, and that's right and proper. One of the things that we've found though as we've spoken with and engaged with lots of new parents is actually probably slightly less support around the well-being of the parents and advice around how to maintain well-being as a new parent. You know, typically our research has found that, and you can imagine it, when you're having a first child or a child in a family, it has an impact on your habits, your time, your ability to go and play netball with your friends or to go and play football on a Saturday or go running three times a week. It creates a new challenge and a new balance to find.


So, we started to do some work with midwives and health visitors, and particularly the managers of those services, to say, 'Well, how could we layer in to our already excellent interactions with new parents more about looking after their physical and emotional health through what is a really difficult time?' I think particularly for the parent staying at home in those early months, and often that's the mum, can be really isolating, can be really difficult to get out of the house potentially, you know, lots going on there. You can form habits in that six or nine or twelve-month period that then are hard to break, so you might have been active before, you might be inactive for six, twelve months, and then potentially onwards as you focus on taking your children to places and to sports clubs and to activities, and before you know it sixteen, eighteen years has gone past and you can't remember the last time you exercised or did anything for yourself really, and that's an easy habit to fall into. I think that's probably a good example of these moments of change. You don't necessarily decide to be inactive, but just life changes and you prioritise different things, and sometimes we don't get the right support to prioritise our own well-being in amongst everything else.


One of the things that we found within those health teams was I suppose a challenge from the management of those services who felt, 'Yes, this is the right thing, yes, we've bought into what a difference this could make,' but a challenge really, and we never quite got to the bottom of it pre-COVID, the timing wasn't quite right, but we're returning to it now, but the big challenge was how would we operationalise that in the sense that a midwife might have twenty minutes on a home visit or at an appointment, even less within the health centre. With so many things already on the checklist, which of those do you give up in order to spend more time talking about the parents' well-being? So, that was the challenge that I think being open still to address that, but what was really good was a sense of ambition within the team to say, 'Yes, we recognise and have been talking perhaps for a long time about supporting parents in a different way.' So, I think through our approach of creative engagement, giving people the time and space to think, actually us as a project team have never probably come up with many of the ideas that change things, but by creating an environment and giving people the space to think, often they're able to come up with better ideas than we could have ever imagined about how things could be different.


So, that's exciting and interesting, and I think that probably pulls out, just final thing on this, is that's one of the learning points that often very senior leaders recognise that things can be different and will be supportive of culture change or behaviour change within an organisation. People on the ground recognise and want to do that, and enjoy being more holistic. It can be challenging in that middle section, in middle management, to figure out those two pressures of our staff haven't got the time to do more, but we're getting pressure to do more from the top in some respects, and so the only solution to that is something different. Often we can't do more, so we have to do something different in order to achieve a different outcome.


(TC: 00:39:06) 

Rhian Gladman: So, I guess those examples you've given there, it's all about, yes, moving from, 'This person is interacting with the system to achieve a certain part of the process,' the problem they've come to is with all the life transition that they need help with, the system is set up to talk about that specifically, like the nurse going out, and it's all about what the needs are of the baby, rightly so, but that's always been the process. Is it almost like using a question about well-being, a focus on a wider well-being is a way to therefore, you know, think about the wider person in that moment where they've lost their job, in that moment where they've got this huge life change of having a baby, actually taking the focus away from the specific process that's always been done to looking bigger with-, it could be one very open question about well-being that's added to the list, but I do take the point around the pressure on front-line service workers trying to deliver these very pressurised services at the moment. It's, yes, more of that, as you said at the very start, moving from process to well-being can unlock a whole lot more around improving a person's life chances and life experience, which therefore reduces demand on the public services further downstream. That's one way of maybe starting to unlock these resources, isn't it?


Yes, I just think that's a fascinating approach that you guys are taking locally, and I really appreciate you coming and sharing in those three different settings of schools, looking for work and also having a baby, they're three very universal settings that councils across the country will be involved in those services, and it's great to share your learnings so far. So, what we like to do on the podcast is leave our listeners with practical help, practical tips that they can take forward. So, for those council officers, busy councillors listening to the podcast, what are your top three tips for others wanting to take this systemic approach to behaviour change, more about well-being than process, working in a different way with partners, what are your three top tips to leave the listeners with?


(TC: 00:41:32) 

Ken: Only three.


(TC: 00:41:33) 

Rhian Gladman: Only three, yes, a tough one there, if you can.


(TC: 00:41:38) 

Ken: Number one would be to take time and facilitate time for people to think, give people the space, or take the space if you're in control of your own, kind of, time. So, for senior leaders, take time to really think about things in a different way, and then create that same space for others, and then connected to that, tip number two, I suppose, would be to get different voices in the room. So, if you are a local government organisation, if you're a local council, bring in health partners, bring in the voluntary sector, bring in members of the communities, not with an agenda with twenty item points, but just to say, well, first of all, just to build relationships with each other, but then to explore a thing together, one thing.


(TC: 00:42:38) 

Rhian Gladman: Like a behavioural challenge.


(TC: 00:42:41) 

Ken: Yes, like potentially one of these life course events, and that probably is tip three. Focus where systems and lives meet. It's so hard to interact with people on our agenda. It's very easy to interact with people when we're on their agenda and they're trying to interact with us. So, when you focus on where our services and people's lives meet, and then explore those with communities and with all of the partners that are around that moment, then I think we can really discover some opportunities for change.


(TC: 00:43:15) 

Rhian Gladman: I think that's a great quote to finish on there, 'Let's focus on where public services and lives meet and go from there,' that's fantastic, Ken, thank you so much for your time today, appreciate you being with us on the podcast.


(TC: 00:43:29) 

Ken: Thank you, really enjoyed it.


(TC: 00:43:30) 

Rhian Gladman: So, if you'd like to learn more about behavioural insights projects that you can try out in your council, please do visit our website at and search for 'behavioural insights' where we have a host of other nudges for social good that you can learn from and use. Please do share the podcast with your friends and colleagues, and thank you very much for listening.




Focus where systems and lives meet,  take time and facilitate time for people to think about things in a different way, bring different voices into the room

Examples about supporting long term unemployed, embedding physical activity in the school curriculrum and supporting the wellbeing of new parents.