Last summer I came up with the idea of starting a podcast that showcases the best public service innovation and the inspirational leaders delivering it. As we all know, some of the most inspirational and effective public service leaders are not in the formal public sector but in the world of social enterprise.

Social enterprise leaders are not prone to shouting about their achievements. They are the unsung heroes who protect us, look after the most vulnerable and provide the foundation for shared prosperity. However, if they don’t share their experiences and stories of success and failure, then others can’t learn and benefit.

Through the Radical Reformers podcast I wanted to give these leaders a platform to tell their stories of achieving great and difficult things. I am delighted I was able to twist a few arms and get them to share their thoughts on their services, responding to the Covid-19 pandemic and more generally about what makes a great organisational culture.

These are some of the most inspirational people I know – and you can listen to their interviews by following the links below:

Scott Darraugh, Chief Executive of Social AdVentures, a Salford based staff and community owned social enterprise delivering public health services. Scott was one of the pioneers of the “public service mutual” movement which has seen a wide range of public services move from within the public sector to independent social enterprise/mutual models.  I always leave a conversation with Scott with a list of exciting ideas and this conversation is no different!

Rachel Law, Chief Executive of PossAbilities, a Rochdale based social enterprise delivering adult social care services. Rachel led the PossAbilities team as they “spun out” of Rochdale Council seven years ago. We talk about Covid-19, how PossAbilities has grown and diversified as an organisation – and also the secret ingredients which make up PossAbilities’ inspiring and happy culture. Rachel is an amazingly inspiring person who manages to combine authentic leadership instincts and behaviours with management skills and an eye for detail, which is rare!

Alison Read, Chief Executive of Community Dental Services, a social enterprise based in Bedfordshire but in operation across the nation. If you thought dental services had almost entirely shut down during the Covid-19 period – then you would be wrong! Community dentistry was still very much in action and had to adapt at breakneck speed.

John Niland is the former Chief Executive of Provide CIC, a social enterprise delivering community care services primarily in Essex but also across the country. John was also one of the pioneers of the “public service mutual” movement. Every time I speak to John, I feel I understand what public services should be for and how they should be delivered a little bit better.

There will be more of these types of interviews to come so feel free to register on the website or follow Radical Reformers on twitter and LinkedIn to make sure you don’t miss future episodes.

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