Meena Kishinani, former Transformation Director at London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and Henry Kippin, Director at North of Tyne Combined Authority joined Dominic Campbell for our panel at Transitions, to share their insights on transformational leadership and what this looks like as we move to recovery.
Dominic Campbell (DC): We’re delighted to be able to bring this panel together today, with inspiring speakers with years of experience managing transformations.
We have Meena, who is the Former Transformation Director at the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and also joining us and is Henry Kippin, Director at North of Tyne Combined Authority.
Thanks for joining us everybody, we’re going to go straight to you Meena, we’d love to hear your thoughts to start us off.
Meena Kishinani (MK): Good morning everybody and thanks for that Dom. Up until about six weeks ago, I was the Transformation Director for the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.
For those of you who don’t know, Barking and Dagenham is an authority that’s located East of London, it’s got one of the fastest-growing populations in the country. 32% of the population are children under the age of 18 and the demographic has moved from fifteen per cent ethnic minorities in 2005 to 69% in 2020. It’s also the second most deprived borough in the capital, so a borough with huge challenges and what I’m about to tell you will provide context.
I spent an amazing 16 years in Barking and Dagenham mainly in social care, and the last five years as Director for Transformation. For anybody out there wanting a career move, trust me, the skills are absolutely transferable, that experience is valuable for this kind of corporate world. Trust, building relationships and having influence to change the culture and behaviours of an organisation are really good skills if you come from a social care background.
This conference is about transitions so I don’t want to forget about where Barking and Dagenham has come from. This is the borough that left itself so lean it was about to topple over. And absolutely no corporate centre to speak of. There was no strategy, no vision and definitely no plan for the future.
Barking and Dagenham embarked on a massive transformation programme, one of the biggest seen in London and one that completely transformed the way they operated. The message from staff was clear, ‘stop the salami slicing, stop tinkering around the edges and really transform what we do’.