The Measures We Want for The Wales We Want

Monday 13th October #supperconversation@ffresh, with Rita Singh on behalf of the “Wales We Want” National Conversation was lively, buzzing, and full of passion and creative thinking. It was also accompanied by absolutely superb food from ffresh (who were show casing their new menu).

The Well-Being of Future Generations (Wales) Bill is now in scrutiny. It is becoming a talking point globally.

Stage 2 of the National Conversation had outlined 4 specific questions for us to address so our conversation and thinking is summarised in this format in order to best feed forward into the National Conversation. I have incorporated some additional thinking in order to pull it together in a cohesive and meaningful way. I’d like to give a huge thanks to Rita and all the participants for such lively and creative thinking!

Question 1: What do the long term goals (of the Future Generations Bill) mean to you, your business or your community? (At present these are high-level goals. What are the challenges and external factors that might affect success?)

Overwhelmingly what surfaced immediately was that the language of these goals is very “corporate” so that the goals don’t connect with the “passion” or “hywl” that is essential to create a “movement” that would really engage Welsh national pride in order to arrive at the tipping point required to literally build “The Wales We Want”.

There was a real “crie de coeur” from around the table that one of the challenges to success is exactly how do we marshal our Welsh national pride, to create one united voice (similar to that which the Welsh passion for rugby ignites) and by so doing embrace the diversity of our different communities, cities and valleys but genuinely become “One Wales”?

That Welsh national pride connected with Welsh success stories of all kinds that are highlighted, celebrated and talked about will inspire confidence and belief that (as with rugby in Wales) Wales can be the best in the world and truly build “The Wales We Want”.

Another challenge highlighted was that there still exists a strong feeling that the Welsh have got used to being “poor” and being the “poor relation” and that this belief fosters the current paucity of ambition. There also still exists another de-motivating belief i.e. that all the wealth drops into Cardiff! However, squashing these deeply felt beliefs was thought to be critical in order to build the Wales we Want.

Part of achieving this is about influencing the voice and message of the media – all media (hard copy, online, social media) so that they engage with and actively promote and help establish the new belief that “Wales can be the best in the world” will help drive the creation of the Wales We Want in 2050.

Question 2: Who can help? Who are the key partners, organisations or individuals that will help us to get there?

The supper conversationalists felt very strongly about unleashing “community champions” who instigate conversations with people in their own networks (at home, in the pub or the club, at work etc) about the goals and successes; champions who gather feedback and then feed it forward – with passion and excitement.

The “community champions” seek out and engage with people who can tell inspiring and engaging real-life success stories; stories that will engage and entice others to join the “movement” that believes Wales can be the best in the world in terms of those long term goals i.e. in economic growth, education and skills, health services, health & wellbeing of individuals and communities, culturally, sport and the arts.

The movement is “One Wales – aspiring to be the best in the world in all that we do”.

The movement is fuelled by a campaign “Tell us your success story about Wales” (we wondered if Ignite Cardiff could help foster this as one example of community championing) – a major social media campaign; keep #mysuccessstoryaboutWales trending on twitter should be the aim.

We can all contribute to being part of this by adopting personally the values implicit within the long term goals as our own values so that they drive our behaviours, in our daily lives.  We can articulate personal core values that relate to the movement such as:

  • I contribute to Wales’ prosperity and I help create wealth
  • I treat all others equally and am inclusive in my approaches
  • I accept my personal responsibility to look after my own health & well being
  • I participate actively in Welsh culture and language, encouraging what we are famous for in Wales in order to help Wales thrive and grow
  • I play my part and contribute to ensuring my community is safe, cohesive and resilient and looks after its members
  • I actively utilise all natural resources in a way that improves sustainability for all

Note: I have written these values as behaviours deliberately!

The movement is transformational and aims to engage the whole of Wales with the values, the belief and the vision of being the best in the world; if the declared values that underpin the goals are shared and lived by all and talked about with “One Voice” then what we co-create as a result defines exactly “what we are famous for”.

Question 3: Are we there yet? How will we know if we are on track? What indicators, measures of success and/ or milestones need to be linked to these goals?

Building the Wales We Want is about transforming Wales and it requires transformational leadership and leaders to create the future; however to achieve this we also need to lead the management of the present and ensure we “deliver the goods” in terms of public services for which we also need clear goals and good monitoring of our progress towards meeting them.

It is therefore helpful to summarise the leadership areas needed to focus on in order to measure success; it is about leadership that must indeed be both transactional and transformational.

Transactional leaders have the ability to organise and manage people and resources to achieve the agreed corporate goals.

They concentrate on

  1. setting goals
  2. monitoring performance
  3. giving feedback and
  4. developing careers

They are leading the “management of the present”

Transformational leaders have a clear idea of where they want to go, are passionate and motivating to others. They are innovative and challenging. They create and communicate a vision, are intellectually stimulating, innovative and imaginative and treat people as individuals. They are “creating the future”.

They concentrate on

  1. Creating a vision
  2. Stimulating the environment
  3. Treating people as individuals

They inspire and motivate and are creating the future

Within that context the some of the suggested measurements were:

  • Measure progression statistically (which is less divisive)
  • Develop a happiness and well-being measurement for tracking
  • Develop a measurement of good health and track its growth (rather than poor health)
  • Measure increased wealth rather than measure poverty (to take away the focus on “being used to being poor”)
  • Measure the growth in the belief that it is OK to make money (profit); we need a healthy economy to provide money to build our infrastructure, develop the education that we want and the health and social services that we want and need etc
  • Identify patterns of behaviour that hinder us from achieving the vision and identify new patterns that help us achieve the vision. These then become new goals and can be monitored.
  • The vision of “Wales being the best in the world” needs to be shared relentlessly and with passion in a committed campaign of community champions, media and social media and with passion. Success could be measured by things such as trending on twitter #mysuccessstoryaboutWales or #theWalesIwantin2050
  • Encourage the conversations and ideas about any and every topic relating to Welsh success and how to build more success – essentially within all the areas of the defined goals and values
  • Start producing “Robert Winston” type stories on film following the progression of individuals, families, businesses, health &well being, communities, environmental sustainability as a regular TV and internet feature i.e. in 2015, 2020, 2025, 2030 etc
  • Dare to be brave, different, aspirational and passionate  in what is done and how we measure it

 Question 4: How can you contribute towards achieving progress on the ‘measures that matter?’

Great suggestion was put forward: that we could each write or video (or draw a picture or mind map or compose a piece of music) our own story of about 250 words “#thewalesIwantin2050”. These individual writings / recordings will reflect our personal enthusiasm about what really matters to us in the Wales we Want and will literally contribute to painting a picture of Wales (being the best in the World) in 2050, which is being driven by the 6 proposed values and corporate goals.

This starts to literally create the picture of the Wales We Want in 2050; it could become an important part of the campaign to engage and incite more and more to join the “movement”? The fuller and clearer that picture gets as more and more people contribute then the future is depicted and Wales will be able to recognise if it is indeed where it wants to be once 2050 arrives!

Also suggested: that everyone could talk to a child and an older person, get their stories and visions of either what they want or for the older generation what it was like 30 + years ago. These stories then help create a pictorial representation from history to present to future.

Additionally: that everyone can be a community champion, talking passionately about the Wales they Want to see and help build, engaging others in the movement, sharing their passion and helping to create the common brand of “Brand Wales”. Brand = values! So “Brand Wales” is as defined earlier. Values drive behaviours. It is what we do (i.e. our behaviours) and not what we say that will ensure the Wales We Want comes about.

“The Wales We Want x factor” if the movement is to grow, engage, excite, transform Wales then we need to help develop the “The Wales We Want x factor” our very own competition complete with voting apps, leadership conversations and more that has people tweeting stories, selfies, and get it trending!! Let’s stop being straight-laced “public sector” and stiff British upper lip and get Welsh passion, national pride, joy and hywl unleashed! The Wales We Want is about transforming Wales.

Very many thanks indeed to Rita for her support and passionate input and also to each of the participants, a large table of “community champions” committed to being part of the movement to transform Wales.

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