Genine Whitehorne  – Bringing People With You

"How do you make people feel they're involved in a change – and it's not all happening 'to' them?"


Genine Whitehorne, Strategic Program Director, Kingston upon Thames

Genine Whitehorne is Programme Director - Strategic Transformation at Kingston upon Thames. In this session, we will ask her about some of the things she did to get people already working hard on "business as usual" stuff to engage with the transformation – and to view her as an ally and NOT an enemy.

"In the past, there was a sense that Kingston was lost and drifting. It had a reputation of not delivering" says Genine.

"Leaders thought the answer was more governance: a complex performance framework with forms to fill in."

"In fact, the answer was SOME of that. But a large part was building a culture of accountability. That's HARDER in the short term – but EASIER in the long term."

Genine will share some of the things her and her team did.

  • "Kingston – like a lot of local government – was quite hierarchical and deferential. We needed to help people to recognise the authority that existed within them."
  • "We changed how budgets were set – instead of emailing a spreadsheet into a corporate black hole, we'd run incubator sessions. We'd do budget setting in a "hot house" environment – agreeing everything together so people knew where they were."
  • "We allowed people to "grieve for the past" and recognise that the things were leaving behind did have some value."

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