Working with OneTeamGov at the FSA

Hi, I’m Richard, and I work at the Food Standards Agency (FSA), where we work to try and make sure that we all have food we can trust.

This week, a few of the OneTeamGov community joined a meeting of the FSA’s senior leadership team to run a mini unconference for us. It was ace.

This followed a successful mini unconference that Sian and I had organised for our executive mangement team a couple of months ago. There had been about 10 of us that time. This time there were about 30 of us.
Start small and iterate.

The bigger scale meant that we needed some help. I turned to the OneTeamGov community. Despite having an invite, I’d unfortunately not been able to go to the Reimagining Public Service unconference that the community had organised in October. However, I knew that they were open to bringing their principles to other, existing events.

I got in touch and they said yes! Four amazing civil servants from other departments gave up their afternoon to come and help us in our department. These are people who are passionate, who truly care, and who live their values.

Prateek, James, David, and James. Legends.

James R opened the event. He answered the question ‘what is OneTeam Gov?’ — answer: it’s a community of people working to create a movement of reform through practical action. He also summarised the community’s principles and spoke about microactions — how we can all take a look at ourselves and make a change to make the world a better place.

James C organised the pitches.

Prateek and DavidBuck facilitated the group discussions. We ran three half hour sessions, with two discussions running in parallel in each session.

People clearly enjoyed the sessions and the format worked, as ever, to energise people. There were several other benefits as well:

  • People were able to talk about the issues that matter most to them and created actions that they are more likely to take away.
  • A wider and more diverse group contributed.
  • We spoke about things that otherwise we wouldn’t have spoken about.
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Our grid of subjects to discuss

At the end we finished with a snowball, where everyone wrote down and shared their key learning from the session.

1, 2, 3: Go!

Several people commented on the success of the format:

As Clare has written, civil service leaders are embracing unconferences. Unconferences are spreading across the civil service and the public sector. And I agree with Dan that this is A Very Good Thing.

For me, it was certainly the highlight of what’s been a good week.

If you want to hear any more about how we organised things for our unconference, get in touch. If you want help to run one where you work, I suggest you ask the OneTeamGov community. You can contact them on Twitter @OneTeamGov or by email contact@oneteamgov.uk.
As they say, the OneTeamGov committee is there to help.

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Senior Director @ElsevierConnect doing product strategy implementation & performance. Mainly writing about getting from A to B, & digital stuff. Personal acc’t.

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