Tag Archives: leadership

The capital, contractual, governance and leadership questions facing creative councils over mutuals

By David Bicknell

There are some good points raised in this article in about the challenges facing creative councils who may be considering the adoption of new mutual models.

It raises some useful questions around capital, governance, contracts, relationships, management, growth, leadership and how the private sector can help.

Worth a read.

Time to move beyond ‘Paint it Black’

By David Bicknell

I can see what Craig Dearden-Philips is getting at in this blog, but I’m not sure it needs to paint such a dire economic picture. There is too much talking down of the economy. No-one will spend any money because everyone from politicians to forecasters to social entrepreneurs to journalists  is trying to out-do each other and paint the blackest picture. There’s no leadership there – just followship.

Dearden-Philips argues that “a crisis of the sort we’re probably heading into will, one way or another, make it far more attractive to reinvent than cut back services. Careers – political and professional – will not survive if slash’n’burn is the modus operandi. For those of us who have long been advocating a reinvention of public services this could end up being, our moment.

“So spin-outs, community-based services, co-ops, innovations that allow decommissioning – all of these things could have a political attractiveness that is currently missing. The sadness is that it will take things getting really quite catastrophically bad before that happens.”

He’s right that spin-outs, community-based services, co-ops, innovations that allow decommissioning do need the right landscape to thrive. But how many employees will feel like spinning out when the picture is painted this black? Better to cling on ‘inside’ than venture – an appropriate word – out and create something new. Employee ownership? Out there? No thanks. I’ll just stay here.

If the government wants to see mutuals thrive, it has to paint a picture of opportunity and  create the right environment to create enthusiam, drive, and investment. That means spurning the negative talk that’s all too easy to do and creating the right environment for change and the tools  – finance, procurement etc – to achieve it.

Is the government up to do the job? When it makes its next pronouncement on open public services, it has to provide the impetus to reinforce  a willing mentality that says ‘Yes, can do’ not ‘Paint it Black.’

I’m not saying it’s going to be easy. But that’s what governments are for: to govern and provide the right environment for change. 

Positive thinking, leadership and action please, not negative no-choices. Opportunity; not opt out.

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A few words from Francis Maude on mutuals’ pathfinders, skills and leadership

Some key points appear to emerge from this Civil Service Live interview with Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude, who continues to be a chearleader for mutuals.

* Don’t bank on another wave of mutual pathfinders. It seems as if there is an internal debate going on which is erring towards wider encouragement for mutualisation.

* Leadership in setting up mutuals is required – and it may come from outside in stimulating workforce interest.

* Maude is more interested in developing skills in-house rather than hiring external consultants

* Staff shouldn’t be excluded from the opportunity to benefit from the sale of any entity.

Mutuals: meeting the leadership and change management challenge of spinning out

A recent blog post by the Transition Institute discusses the leadership and change management challenges that must be met in spinning out of the public sector.

The post, by Sarah Ashley, argues that there are a number of themes that recur among those spinning out, including a need for leadership, transparency, language and perceptions.

On leadership, she says, “To instigate and complete a successful change, leadership is extremely important. Though change champions can steer change from any layer of an organisation, the project needs to be spearheaded by an ambitious, dedicated and highly motivated individual. This person must be fully committed to change, and will have to confirm, persuade and assure others to support the change.

“Spinning out of the public sector and change management is not an overnight process, but the change does need to be swift. Once the decision to change has been made, the change should move quickly and throughout the transition the leader must be flexible but resolute. ”

You can read the rest of the post here