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Change² - Achieving more together

From EPSA - European Public Sector Award

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Award nominee

In the immediate response to the fiscal effect of the financial and economic crisis of 2008/2009 and facing a budget shortfall of €350m in fiscal years 2010-2013, the City of Mannheim embarked on a five-year multidimensional reform project under the name of ‘Change²’. A focus on impact and results, together with dedicated fiscal management are the key objectives. ‘Change²’ aims to improve the delivery of public services via outcome targets and to develop a better model of shaping the city by improving democracy in the City Council, promoting participatory approaches with citizens and developing the city in partnership with universities and businesses.

The programme comprises two main action areas: 1. Strategy, targets and outcome-orientation and 2. Sustainable finances through fiscal management and strategy-based budgeting. Gemeinsam mehr bewirken (Achieving more together) is the theme for the process. Impact orientation (achieving) and cooperation (together) are the key threads underlying all aspects of the process. Cooperation between administrative units with joint targets (breaking the silos) is key. The seven strategic targets include achieving educational equity, attracting talent, fostering tolerance and growing jobs through investment and entrepreneurs. Operational targets have been set for all administrative and service units of the city, introducing a new culture of results. The 2010/11 budget framework followed the prioritisation of the seven strategic city targets (e.g. focus on educational equity). A new ‘traffic light’ budget monitoring tool was put into place, covering a set of approx. €36 million in projected revenue increases and savings. The 2012/13 budget will be explicitly based on strategic and operational targets (i.e. linking targets to resources).

‘Change²’ includes more than 30 projects, ranging from restructuring of departments, mainstreaming international/EU perspectives to all policy areas and drafting guidelines on leadership and communication for city employees. They address cross-unit issues and promote the culture of collaboration. The process also requires a new culture in leadership and operations within the city administration. The main instruments for this culture change are new dialogue formats between leaders and employees. The Mayor introduced leadership circles and meets a randomly selected group of employees every quarter for an open discussion and other transhierarchical and interactive dialogue formats have also been created. Strategic and operational targets were presented and discussed with all city employees in more than 45 events. The dialogue is supported by an annual opinion survey among employees and a quarterly measurement of the compliance with the city guidelines for ‘Leadership, Communication and Cooperation’. A guarantee of no compulsory redundancies for the life of the budget cycle has been given to secure employee engagement in return for acceptance of flexibility in tasks, processes and location of employment. The process is driven by a central steering unit of 10 staff reporting to the Mayor. In parallel to this dedicated unit, a number of organisational changes and new processes have been defined across the municipality, such as a new ‘Bureau for International and European Affairs’ and a core ‘Strategic Steering’ unit at the Mayor’s Office.

Award info
Award category: smart public service delivery
Award type: nominee
Award year: 2011
Project type
Sector: Public administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reform
Type of activity:
Keywords: CHANGE²
Short English description: ‘Change²’ includes more than 30 projects, ranging from restructuring of departments, mainstreaming international/EU perspectives to all policy areas and drafting guidelines on leadership and communication for city employees.
Further information
Organisation: City of Mannheim, Office of the Lord Mayor, Administrative Reform Unit FVA2013
Other applicants:
Homepage: http://www.change2.de; http://www.mannheim.de; http://www.mannheim2020.de
Level of government: local level
Size of organisation: >100
Number of people involved: >15
Country: Germany
EU membership: EU member
Language code: en
Start date:
End date:


Change² - Achieving more together (49.4887527, 8.4646762)
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