SEED is a hybrid of tools and services for delivery teams and employees to engage with new practices by targeting the phases of learning and trying to alleviate the needs of the employees and delivery teams in the public sector.

Yu-Hsuan (Sharon) Ho
Sharanya Ramesh
Deepu James
Supported by Newham Council, Hackney Council, York Council, and GDS
Equipping people to shape the learning environment in their organisation.
The public sector aims to meet the needs of the communities. By embedding and learning new practices, the public sector can achieve their goal in a more efficient way. We believe there is a need for organisations to learn how to address changing needs in the most effective manner. In this project, we are sowing the seeds of transformation through engaged learning, so that learning can be prioritised in organisations. We did this project by co-creating our solutions with many key players in the public sector. To know more, visit our website
Why Learning?

“The problem is, you walk away and [the learning] doesn’t embed”We initially took a hypothesis-driven approach to understand why learnings were not being retained in Councils. We realised that the bigger problem was that learning was not prioritised in councils. Learning not being retained was a consequence of it not being prioritised. The goal of the council is to meet the needs of the community. Old ways were working, so they didn't have to learn new practices to achieve their goal. But they are time and resource heavy and, in the long term, rigid.So we think there is a need for organisations to learn how to address changing needs in the most efficient manner. To meet the needs of the community, the council needs to have effective practices. These effective practices need to be learned and embedded. The first step to this is to ensure learning is prioritised. We see an opportunity here.

The Need

We start at the heart of the learning ecosystem, with the delivery teams wanting to deliver learnings, and engaged employees, who are willing to learn and are our changemakers. Engaged employees account for 25% of employees in the public sector.Their respective needs differ in the learning process: (1) Delivery teams find that they need to be constantly present for any learning to be retained, (2) They need to align to different learning styles for better engagement within a team, (3) Engaged employees seek support to deepen and enrich their learnings, (4) They have different engagement styles, and this affects their agency in learning. (5) They are also keen to find like-minded peers who can learn with them.So our approach was to help these employees to be more involved in their learning, and to aid delivery teams in creating the space for employees to do so. We do this by creating engagement in the learning process.

Our Service, SEED

SEED is a hybrid of online tools and face-to-face services, for delivery teams and employees to engage with new learnings, in order to equip them to shape the learning environment in their organisation. We do this by creating engagement in the learning process. Our Persona Configuration tools are aimed at easy onboarding of different learning styles. The Question Prompts help learners define their own progress. Learning Groups create communities of reflection within like-minded peers.We consider the individual needs of our users, and create incentives to participate and apply the tools in their respective practices. Our solutions are modular and easy to onboard, keeping in mind individual stakeholder needs.An example: Councils find that teams have little time to get used to the speed of the agile process. Delivery teams can introduce Question Prompts to employees for deeper reflection, and create Learning Groups to build communities of learning.

Applications and Vision

Our conversations with our stakeholders pointed towards ways our solution could grow:Our learning style tools help delivery teams understand the composition of their learning cohort. Delivery teams will be able to plan ahead and design courses with this knowledge of the different learning styles. The goal of learning in the public sector is to grow capabilities within a larger team because learning is not isolated to the individual. Our question prompts can be used in a team to define the new actions for developing capabilities and reflecting together. Learning groups can become a regular practice within teams, dedicated to creating a space to develop the capability. Our learning style guidelines are designed to open lines of conversation between delivery teams and employees. The scope can be widened to create ways for team members to understand each other better, and engage with each other effectively, by targeting team strengths.

SEED’s Impact

With our services, we want attitudes towards learning to change. We aim to do this by creating space to make learning easy, and giving those within the organisation the opportunity to practice and see the value for themselves, If more and more people see the value of learning, then they begin to prioritise it and learning will gradually become part of the organisation’s DNA.When learning is prioritised, those within the organisation can shape their learning environment. When the culture of learning and transformation grows, organisations make a positive shift towards more resilient, proactive ways to meet their community’s needs.

special thanks

This project was as rewarding as it was challenging. Through our different conversations and interactions, we met a group of people whose valuable participation led us to this point of the project.

Thank you to Lisa Jeffrey and her team at GDS, John Mortimer, Sam Villis from Local Digital Gov, Benjamin P Taylor from Red Quadrant, Luke Roberts of Resolve Consultants, the Breakfast Club at OneTeamGov, Jennie Cox from York Council, Jenny Zienau, Sonia Khan and Claudia Knowles from Hackney Council, Tom Alexander, Paul Feven, Jane Kennedy, Tim Aldcroft and Gemma Baldock from Newham Council, Ramesh Sreedharan from Orenda, Vijay Damle from Tata Consultancy Services, David Buck from UK Gov Camp and OneTeamGov and the patrons at Power With, Telescope and Good Innovation.

We would also like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to our mentor, Judah Armani for his ability to provide us unexplored perspectives and add richness to our work, and Andres Lopez from VISA for inspiring, and being inspired by our work.The acknowledgements would go amiss if we did not thank our wonderful tutors at the RCA, our supportive families and our circle of friends who continue to inspire and drive us to our best.

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