004 – Max Wide, Strategic Director for Business Change, Bristol City Council

In this edition of the Prime Domino podcast I have an extremely experienced, fascinating and thoughtful guest. He is Max Wide, the Strategic Director for Business Change at Bristol City Council.

His career started in welfare rights, then working with homeless people and you’ll hear his story about taking the way disabled people were helped back into work and turning it on its head.

He tells me why he doesn’t like the word transformation and talks about the downside to altruism.

You’ll also hear the inside story of Bristol City Council’s current improvement effort, the Applied Programme, problems its overcome and what it hopes to achieve.

And there’s lots more in an interview that certainly made me think and reflect on many aspects of improvement and transformation.

Max Wide’s potted biography:

Max Wide joined Bristol City Council in February 2014. He is a Strategic Director responsible for business change, ensuring that the Council uses money, technology, staff development, policy, the democratic process and data in pursuit of better outcomes for Bristol. Max is responsible for the delivery of the Council’s single change programme, creating a more efficient and effective organisation.

Max came to Bristol from the local government consulting firm iMPOWER where he led their work on Childrens services partnerships in Sandwell MBC and Doncaster. He has a history of achieving major positive change in organisations and helping Councils break new ground leading organisational development at London Borough of Barnet and Suffolk County Council.

Max’s career began in welfare rights and led, through working with homeless people in the third sector, into local government. Max worked for many years in adult care, in training and development and then in corporate transformation. He led the work of SOLACE Enterprises in leadership and cultural change and whilst there was the author of books on organisational development, cultural change and leadership in political environments. An experienced peer review and peer challenge leader, he has worked with many senior teams delivering transformation programmes across Councils. He is a tutor on the new Chief Executives programme and an experienced mentor of senior officers. Max spent six years at BT Global Services as Director of Local Government Strategy and has been recognised by LGC as one of the top 30 most influential voices in local government.

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