On balancing acts

We all know the public sector faces unprecedented pressures. Rising demand and expectations are compounded by Covid19 backlogs and falling budgets. These are the immediate and pressing concerns that public sector leaders face. It is easy in such times to enter survival mode, tending to the urgent presenting issues. However ,this comes at the expense […]

On linking pay and performance (part 2)

In part one I explored the views of human nature that often underly moves to link pay and performance, even now. I suggested that individual performance is the product of the system within which people work, and that to hold individuals to account for their performance in these complex systems of work is misguided at […]

On transformation and change (part 3)

In part one of this article I explored some frustrations with traditional approaches to transformation and change in our organisations and how all too often they are driven by finance, HR and IT. In part two I offered an alternative approach to institutional transformation and change (T/C) management based on Cultural Theory. In this final […]

On transformation and change (part 2)

In part one of this article I explored some frustrations with traditional approaches to transformation and change in our organisations and how all too often they are driven by finance, HR and IT. As Matthew Taylor, my former Chief Exec taught me, artfully describing the problem is not in itself enough. We need to back […]

On transformation and change (part 1)

Scanning job ads is a fascinating insight into the solutions companies think they need for their pressing challenges. Packaged up into a job description the answer comes in the form of a new hire, whose role becomes reactive, to fix, change or improve something, or proactive, to invent, build or take a opportunity for something. […]

On building culture

For reasons irrelevant to this post (and despite probably being detrimental to my general wellbeing) I follow the Arizona Cardinals NFL team, a historically bad franchise. Last season was founded on high hopes and a positive start but ultimately dashed by an all-too familiar slide to mediocrity. Pundits and commentators were critical of player leadership […]

Problems are not markets

A critical and often overlooked challenge facing those seeking to resolve challenges in the public sector is that that problems don’t always equal markets. Without a systemic understanding of the problem, any attempt at a resolution is likely to fall into ‘innovation theatre’ – it may look great, but once the show’s over there’s nothing […]

On examples of self-organising teams (part 6)

What is the point of the organisation? Leicester and O’Hara state that “organisation is a means of getting things done. But it is also a way of living together. The purpose of any organisational form is to provide a means of collective agency”. This is insightful for two reasons: not only do we see that […]

On self-managing teams (part 4)

What is the point of the organisation? Leicester and O’Hara state that “organisation is a means of getting things done. But it is also a way of living together. The purpose of any organisational form is to provide a means of collective agency”. This is insightful for two reasons: not only do we see that […]

On different types of teams (part 3)

What is the point of the organisation? Leicester and O’Hara state that “organisation is a means of getting things done. But it is also a way of living together. The purpose of any organisational form is to provide a means of collective agency”. This is insightful for two reasons: not only do we see that […]