Transformation Advisory Group: May 2023

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 02 May 2023

Attendees and apologies


  • Lesley Fraser, DG Corporate


  • Louisa Barnett, Abrdn
  • Gavin Brogan, Diageo Global supply
  • Sarah Gadsden, The Improvement Service
  • Douglas Hill, GE Caledonian
  • Bob Moncrieff, DBI Network
  • Ralph Roberts, NHS Borders and chair of NHS Chief Executives Group
  • Nick Shields, Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service (SMAS)


  • Juliet Chua, DG Corporate and Finance, FCDO
  • Chris Courtney, National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS)
  • Mark Logan, Chief Entrepreneur, Scottish Government
  • Lynne O’Hare, National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS)
  • John Reid, Wilkie

Scottish Government Officials

  • Brian Reid, Director for Corporate Transformation and Workplace
  • Heather Carson, Deputy Director for Transformation Strategy, Engagement and Portfolio Management
  • Andy Drought, Deputy Director for Organisational Change and Performance
  • Jonathon Curry, Deputy Director for People Strategy
  • Kevin Rae, Head of Organisational Change policy
  • Ken Goodlad, Corporate Transformation, Strategy and Engagement

Items and actions

  1. Welcome and Update on Corporate Transformation
  • Lesley Fraser, DG Corporate welcomed members to the second meeting of the Transformation Advisory Group, and thanked Nick Shields and colleagues from the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service and Scottish Enterprise for hosting the meeting.
  • A recap of the ambition for Corporate Transformation, including the strategic priorities for 2023 and progress made since the February meeting was shared with the group, and the role DG Corporate plays in driving the Corporate Transformation agenda across all Scottish Government DG families and the wider public sector.


  1. People Strategy
  • Jonathon Curry provided context on the size and shape of the organisation, and introduced the Scottish Government’s People Strategy, which is taking forward HR policies to increase flexibility and strengthen our responsiveness in the Service of Scotland.


  1. Leadership
  • Andy Drought and Kevin Rae, shared their approach to engaging with the Senior Civil Service (SCS) on Corporate Transformation and In the Service of Scotland (ITSoS).
  • There is significant organisational change underway within the Scottish Government, framed by ITSoS , that requires widespread adoption of new ways of working under strong cross-government leadership.
  • Communications and engagement at all levels will be necessary to support people and teams adapt existing practices, and get involved in shaping the future Scottish Government.
  • Kevin Rae explained the emerging change platform through which we are empowering our SCS leaders  to drive change, using the ITSoS vision to frame the conversation and take action. That empowerment is supported through significant engagement with the SCS, with visible leadership from the Permanent Secretary.



The following topics were raised in discussion:


  • The importance of integrating top-down and bottom-up change and engagement, with opportunities for all grades to help shape organisational change. Members shared their own experiences of staff suggestion schemes, ideas generation, etc.
  • The value of honest messaging, with clarity on the rationale for change and the challenges that need overcome.
  • How to measure success through local led improvement, ensuring leaders understand and are engaged to support and engage their own staff.
  • How to recognise and reward success.
  • Heather Carson advised the group of two engagement groups that Corporate Transformation run; the A-C band engagement group and the Senior Advisory Forum.
  • The benefit of a forum for leaders to come together to hear from each other and share experiences.
  • How to share success stories and lessons to encourage others to engage.
  • Being clear on intended outcomes and measuring performance against delivery.


  1. Close
  • In closing, Lesley Fraser thanked all members for their time and contributions which are essential in helping Scottish Government officials shape our own transformation journey.
  • The next meeting is scheduled for the 27th June, 2023


Corporate Transformation

4 May 2023


Back to top