We interviewed Alex Marshall, Programme Support at the Local Government Association about how the LG Inform and LG Inform Plus Group is used to support a range of work including gathering local authority feedback, consultations, organising content for events, disseminating learning and more.
"We gather informal feedback about LG Inform through polls and ideas, and we can also gather feedback on more formal, larger consultations."
Getting feedback quickly and easily
Knowledge Hub is a great place to share ideas and get feedback from members. We use the ‘ideas’ function and polls regularly to ask members to vote on what new metrics they would like to see in LG Inform. It’s a useful way of providing a snapshot of our members’ views.
What’s been most beneficial as a group facilitator is being able to get feedback quickly from our LG Inform users on events and ideas without having to clog up inboxes. Using the ideas functionality in the group means that feedback ticks over without having to chase people. It’s an ongoing way of working, which we have found very useful and it is difficult to think of another way we could do this.
Our group members tend to respond within a day or two, and we can guarantee that someone will have something to say. It’s not always the same people – different members pop up and respond and ask questions.
Sharing the learning across the sector
"It's an ongoing way of working, which we have found very useful and it is difficult to think of another way we could do this."
We have used our group to support a range of our work. One example that’s worked really well is our Customer Insight work. We worked with 64 councils as part of a grant-funded programme. One of the requisites involved sharing the learning with the sector. To do this, we hosted 64 hotseats for each council in the group forum to share the outcomes with our members.
We ran 1-2 hotseats per week, and running these meetings as hotseats saved time and money, as people could join the ones they are interested in from their own desks, with no need to travel. We could not have got everyone together in a room for a conference to do this work. It also gave us a permanent record of the conversations that went on during these meetings.
Our hotseats are always so popular and well attended. They have proved to be a fantastic way of sharing knowledge and members can have access to them whenever it suited them.