Good management is important. Even in a university.

When I work with people in the higher education sector, one of the most common things I hear is that universities are different from other types of organisation. The purpose is different. The structure is different. The people are different. Standard ideas of what constitutes good management just don’t apply in the higher education setting, people tell me. But I think they do. And now I have evidence. Continue reading

Some thoughts on teams

This might seem odd for someone who works predominantly on his own, but I’ve been giving some thought recently to what makes a good team. Specifically, I’ve been wondering whether we perhaps tend to establish teams of people who all have similar backgrounds, when in fact we should strive for more diversity of skills, experience and mindset. And on the whole, I’m with diversity. Even if it makes it more difficult for teams to work… erm, well… as a team. Continue reading

Hot off the press: New benchmarking guide now available

Benchmarking AnalysisI’m delighted to announce that ‘Benchmarking analysis: Accountancy in local government’, a guide that I have written for the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) has now been published.

This publication lifts the lid on CIPFA’s successful benchmarking service and provides valuable insight into the current state of local authority accountancy and finance services across the United Kingdom.

You can find the guide online here. Continue reading

Using prospective hindsight to manage risk

Nobody likes an Eeyore. When we’re planning new projects, it’s tempting for team members to focus on the positives and to gloss over all of the things that could go wrong. So when the inevitable does hit the fan, it can come as somewhat of a surprise. But what if we could think about project risks without looking as if we’re trying to jinx the whole thing? And what if we could benefit from 20:20 hindsight right at the start? Welcome to the world of prospective hindsight and the project pre-mortem. Continue reading