By David Bicknell
There is an interesting Guardian piece on mutuals published today. It features some quotes from Campbell McDonald, a director of the employee-owned trust Baxi Partnership, which is working with some of the public sector organisations now setting up mutuals.
“If you are going to do it, there has got to be a set of things that are in place,” he says. Strong leaders will be needed to steer the new organisations, as well as support from government and from those commissioning services at a local level. But mutuals could transform services, he believes. “The prize is that you see big gains in productivity and huge rises in employee motivation. That tends to trigger innovation and will free up the organisation to make things happen more quickly.”
“If any of this is going to succeed on scale, we cannot allow new organisations to be set up to fail,” he adds. “The mutual option is not a silver bullet, and without a decent number of success stories to point to in two years’ time this movement will struggle to really get off the ground. The most worrying factor right now is that with so many groups of employees considering a mutual way forward, a huge number are still struggling to get the right support and advice at the right time to give them the best chance of survival.”