Introducing Paul Kearsey:
A catalyst for Data and AI
LOCAL Public Services
2023 was a tough year to start a business. Happily, though, 2024 is looking like a wonderful time to scale a business. We are going to be opening two new regional offices, hiring lots of top talent and most excitingly we have kicked off the new year with a new, dedicated Managing Director for our Local and Regional Government practice, Paul Kearsey.
As a founding leadership team, we had an idea that many of our important institutions and companies would welcome a new type of partner to support them in fully exploiting the power of data through smart, human centred use of software, cloud, AI, and automation.
But to turn that general idea into tangible services we had to employ two of the most underrated skills in business – listening and learning. Try something, listen, learn, adjust. The middle two, listening and learning are skills that can be learnt and should be practised. The last action – adjust – is more innate and allows you to react to feedback and context . Only then can you really help your clients in a thoughtful, sustainable way.
Paul Kearsey, MD of Regional and Local Public Services
It frustrates me that the sector, on behalf of its users, hasn’t managed to capture the value offered by the many the business, technology and data innovations of the last 10 years or so.
One of the areas where I really, really wanted Pivotl to listen, learn and then adjust accordingly is local public services. In relation to the cloud and modern ways of working it was my original passion project. It frustrates me that the sector, on behalf of its users, hasn’t managed to capture the value offered by the many business, technology and data innovations of the last 10 years or so. And now, much of the sector is in a real mess, with no obvious solution in sight – I’m conscious I’ve played my role in that lack of progress.
External suppliers must take their share of blame for where the sector finds itself. I’m generalising but, in the business, and technology services space they break down into a few key types. 1. Providers of opaque, unlovely line of business systems accompanied by miserable commercial behaviour. 2) Consulting Messiahs with a predefined “silver bullet” for solving the sectors problems – Lego government, public cloud (me), service design, innovation theatre whatever…none of it scales to really make a difference. 3) Specialist Local Government consultancies with expertise in some aspect of council work. Often these are excellent at what they do but they have little knowledge of wider technology related developments and / or actual experience of delivering them.
The scale of the challenge faced by the sector is, of course, an opportunity and many Local Government Officers want to explore this in an intelligent, collegiate way. Which brings me onto Pivotl and our new hire Paul Kearsey. We know there is not a silver bullet. We know that some of the answers lie in the smarter use of data, (G) AI and automation. We also know that, managerially, the answers lie, in the heads and experiences of Local Government Officers who do the work with residents and other stakeholders. If only they could understand what is going on in their services and measure progress – or lack, there of!
our data platform
We have built a data and AI platform on Microsoft; the choice of technology stack was deliberate given most councils have invested in the Microsoft ecosystem – it’s all part of our mission not to add to the complexity of the technology landscape in government. We have a method that can deliver value in weeks and months based on business-driven data user needs. Our approach and technology deliver value fast but are infinitely scalable – able to move at a speed that matches the ambition and constraints of the Council. We have a leadership team that, including Paul and with one exception, have all worked as senior Local Government Officers; there is no point in having the new thing but not knowing how the place where you are going to put that new thing works.
Most importantly we have a desire to listen, to work iteratively with local government service providers and users to provide them with the insights, automation, and capabilities that they need to make their dent in the Local Government universe.
Bringing it back to Paul. When I talk to Paul, I try ideas, I listen, I learn, and I adjust. I have already learnt so much from him and I’m excited to keep doing so. I feel genuinely delighted on behalf of our clients that Paul is going to be shaping our talent, approach and thinking for the sector. Welcome on board Paul, I’m looking forward to learning from you and hopefully second time around making more of a difference.
Drop Paul a note to find out more about our Data platform and his experience of working in and with local public services.