Business planning is an important part of setting up or running any organisation. It helps us to establish what we will do, how we will do it and how we will finance our activities. But it can be incredibly difficult to forecast exactly what is going to happen in the future. This means that the business plans we have slaved over for months can very easily become obsolete within weeks, if not days. So here’s an alternative approach: iteration. Continue reading
Things are moving quickly. Whether you work in higher education, local government, the health service, the not-for-profit sector or somewhere else, it’s likely that things look very, very different from how they looked ten years ago. And ten years from now, they’re likely to look even more different from how they do today. How we deal with this rapid pace of change will determine whether our organisations survive, thrive… or disappear. Continue reading
When it comes to making organisations work well, we tend to think of tangible things like strategies, plans, processes and controls. But while these all have their place, there is something else that we should also consider. Something that is so powerful that if we don’t get it right, then everything else is an irrelevance. I’m talking about culture. The unspoken and unwritten code that exists in every organisation. The way we do things around here.
There is often a tendency to think that any problems within an organisation can be resolved, or any desired improvements made, with the application of a new process or the implementation of a shiny new piece of software. While understandable, this is potentially problematic. Because organisations are not about systems, processes and software – they are about people. Continue reading
As the funding cuts start to bite, things are changing rapidly in local government. But this is only the start. My own local authority, for example, managed to find savings of £17.5m in 2011/12 and needs to identify another £30m by 2015. And if the trend continues, they estimate that they will have to cut expenditure by a further £39m by 2018. This will leave the Council with only half of the resources that it had in 2010/11. Continue reading