Isn't it a fact that many people can talk at length about the reasons as to why we, as managers in organisations, are always striving to create a great organisation. We can list the top reasons as to why we need to change, and another list of what needs to change. How about a list showing the characteristics of successful leaders? Does anyone like to count the number of books on this subject?
Yet, when we actually look at what works, and what does not work, actually watch managers manage, what is the one thing that underpins what is REALLY stopping us. Is not the answer, that we all actually know deep down, is us - our own fear of the unknown - of stepping out of our zones of comfort? Its easy to say that we must become bold, etc. Its another to actually feel the wind of uncertainty grip our chests.
Which manager is prepared to take the risk of a new approach, when they are being measured on success, by a room full of grim faced, suited stalwarts. Isn't it easier to follow the tried and tested approaches, that were developed about 80 years ago?
Our real barriers are all in our heads.
Its not easy, but the first step is to recognise our limitations, and be prepared to challenge them. Then find an approach and the right people who share your vision. Then you have a chance to succeed...
This says it all...
The problem with consultants...
Depicting management consultants as a major factor in changing the public sector is suspect. Their major preoccupation is with making specific technologies work, but not in transforming public sector institutions.
Research from Lapsey, Brown and Jackson
I have seen this too many times...
Have a systems thinking view of the service and how to change it, and avoid functionalising the problem. This will avoid improving one area, at the expense of the other.
The consultant must work in partnership with the leaders, developing the plan forward, and engaging with managers to design the change. Then the consultant must help YOU to do the change, engaging with your employees to develop them so the outcome is something that lasts when the consultant leaves; to provide sustainability.
Councils now recognise that local government are facing tough challenges, tougher than they have had to deal with before. What can you do when year on year service improvements are needed, as well as having to remain financially sustainable?
Is this what you thought you would be doing when you first joined local government?
It’s time the public sector got its mojo back, there are clear alternatives to salami slicing
There are a myriad of change initiatives out there; shared services, troubled families, outsourcing, commissioning, demand channeling, lean, etc. Each method has its’ champions ready to convince anyone whose listening that this is the best thing to do.
What are we going to do about it?
Well, we know that doing the same as before is not enough. Salami slicing, improving processes, and outsourcing have been tried and only achieve limited improvements. You can't simply keep doing that.
The only alternative that is fit for the future is to transform your service. By transforming, you create a new approach within your organisation, and with your community. A system is created that has less cost, and its service is delivered in a different way to before. The only way to do that is to redesign your service again - use systems thinking.
When you transform, you don't start from where you are now, to redesign from a new set of principles, using a blank sheet. Its liberates ideas to create approaches that could not have been considered before.
'If your'e in a car, and you want to fly, its no good trying to redesign bits of the car to become an airplane. Its better to start afresh and redesign an airplane from the ground up'
Helping others to learn how to do better things