Sales Manager Liz Brand writes a guest blog about her experience of last year’s Local Authority Challenge

I received an email back in January 2019 asking if I was interested in taking part in the Local Authority Challenge. At the time I had no idea what it entailed, but being ‘slightly’ competitive, the word ‘Challenge’ piqued my interest.

The Local Authority Challenge banner logo

As I found out more about the event; working in a team with colleagues from all parts of Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC) to run a fictional council for the day, the learning opportunities seemed unique. I was intrigued and signed up.

Our fantastic team got together on numerous occasions to meet up to really get to know each other and discuss and prep what we thought might come up on the day, as well as deciding upon our overall strategy. Lots of work was put in beforehand.

We travelled to the venue by train and stayed at the hotel the night before, meeting in the bar for drinks and last minute discussions, an early night was had by all!

On the day nerves were high and the next 8 hours of challenges and obstacles flew; 

4.25pm arrived and we had to present our plan to an austere looking board who had no time for small talk. We had been working so hard not to overrun our 10 minutes that we powered through it, each member of the team presenting their area brilliantly. As we sat back down in the main room and remembered to breathe, we were hit with another massive challenge!

5pm came and there was a collective sigh of relief, we headed to the bar. I was so proud of the team, everyone worked so hard and so well together, in the face of huge pressure. We knew we hadn’t disgraced ourselves but it was difficult to judge if we had done well. Most importantly we were still smiling and breathing.

The awards presentation came and we were delighted to see BHCC represented in the top four in every category apart from one. Then the moment came and we were announced as ‘Best Team’. Totally bonkers, but equally an amazing feeling!

Post event, I feel lucky that the BHCC have embraced this approach to learning and development and I’ve been able to access it, it was hugely rewarding and also a fantastic way to meet with others across the service that I wouldn’t have got to know previously.

I feel I’ve gained a lot of confidence in my professional life and that perhaps the Chief Exec’s job isn’t actually that far away……!

Photo of the LA Challenge Winner 2019

From left to right: Wes Emond, Liz Brand, Mia Brown, Emma Sheridan, Ruth Bradley and Giles Hippisley.

The Local Authority Challenge

The Local Authority Challenge is coming back to the South East for its third year with a whole new set of issues to fix! The focus remains firmly on learning and development and, as in previous years, the challenge will offer a rare opportunity for aspiring managers across the public sector to gain exposure to issues outside of their normal working lives and give them a taste of what senior management is like!

Find out more and apply here.

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