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Post-COVID with Birmingham City Council

By Mark Thompson6 May 20201 min read

Our Strategy Director, Professor Mark Thompson, was invited to keynote the senior leadership post-COVID management session for the Leader, Councillors and senior executives within Birmingham City Council.


The 2-hour session kicked off discussing how Birmingham can reform itself post-COVID as a more decentralised brokerage for social and economic exchange of value across the community, moving away from its traditional profile as a ‘top down’ delivery organisation. As it does so, the 3 enabling themes will be :

  • A resolute focus on becoming a data-driven council
  • Designing itself architecturally to enable ‘accessibility’ (open, API-driven, collaborative)
  • To ‘leverage’ cloud-based utilities and services wherever possible/appropriate instead of trying to develop/deliver everything itself.

I separated out some of the key ‘emerging tech’ that feeds on data in the cloud, into ‘efficiency-related tech’ that’s good for reducing process-heavy activities (process automation, optical character recognition, natural language processing), ‘intelligence-related tech’ (AI, machine learning, data science utilities), and ‘connective tech’ (e.g. IoT). I encouraged Birmingham City Council to maximise use of these because they can be cheap to deploy if you architect your services correctly.

We then went on to discuss a range of associated issues including data trusts, data security, supply chain resilience, efficiencies, etc.

A productive and insightful session looking at how the council can maintain it’s new way of working post-COVID, taking the learnings and lessons and creating positive change.

You can read more about my views on a post-COVID public sector in this article here.

If you would like to discuss any of the above with me, or any other questions you may have, please feel free to reach me on: mark.thompson@methods.co.uk.