Transformation Advisory Group minutes: February 2023

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 22 February 2023.

Attendees and apologies


  • Ivan McKee MSP, Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise


  • Louisa Barnett, Abrdn
  • Gavin Brogan, Diageo Global supply
  • Alan Cardwell, Triathlon Workx Ltd
  • Chris Courtney, National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS)
  • Sarah Gadsden, The Improvement Service
  • Douglas Hill, GE Caledonian
  • Mark Logan, Chief Entrepreneur, Scottish Government
  • Bob Moncrieff, DBI Network
  • Lynne O’Hare, National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS)
  • John Reid, Wilkie
  • Ralph Roberts, NHS Chief Executives Group
  • Nick Shields, Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service (SMAS)


  • Juliet Chua, FCDO

Scottish Government officials

  • Lesley Fraser, DG Corporate
  • 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
  • Ken Goodlad, Corporate Transformation Strategy Lead
  • Kieran McQuaid, Performance and Change Lead
  • Patrick Berry, Corporate Transformation, Strategy and Engagement Lead
  • Megan Johnson, Communications Support

Items and actions


Mr McKee welcomed members to the first meeting of the Transformation Advisory Group and thanked them for giving their time. Members were invited to introduce themselves. Mr McKee set out the reasons why the advisory group had been formed and the value of the insight members could offer from their own experiences on the challenges and approaches to delivering greater efficiency and effectiveness through organisational change.

Our origin story and priorities for 2023

Lesley Fraser, Director General Corporate, added her welcome and thanks to members of the group.

Ms Fraser outlined the role DG Corporate plays in driving the Corporate Transformation agenda across all Scottish Government DG families and the wider public sector, and the journey to date.

Ms Fraser highlighted the strategic ambition for Corporate Transformation, and the priorities Scottish Government will pursue to drive efficiencies in 2023-24.

Our approach to change In the Service of Scotland

Brian Reid, Director of Transformation and Workplace, outlined the core process capabilities that underpin the Scottish Government’s approach, and the mechanisms through which we will deliver effective change.


The following topics were raised in discussion:

  • the need for vision clarity at all levels of an organisation going through change, and the value of regular assessment towards delivery of that ambition, through e.g. pulse surveys
  • the need to reduce duplication and have honest conversations about the need and value of existing process; don’t optimise processes that shouldn’t exist
  • the value of short, focused change at a local level, alongside corporate-led transformation endeavours, and prioritising effort on where most impact can be made
  • the value of identifying pilot areas to test improvement approaches and/or techniques
  • the importance of effective and accessible communication, engaging with those effected by change with easy feedback flows to surface and act on pain-points and opportunities
  • building flexible capability to enable change locally, whilst retaining skills and knowledge for long-term aspirational change in large, diverse organisations
  • a uniform approach to change, e.g. adoption of singular frameworks, rarely delivers success. Instead approaches need to be tailored to fit the environment
  • how a vision like In the Service of Scotland can win  ‘hearts and minds’ and provide a guiding light to the rationale for organisational change

Next meeting

The Secretariat would seek a suitable date for the next meeting and issue invitations and an agenda shortly.

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