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
We all know that times are hard. Budget cuts, uncertainty around funding and increased pressure on the resources that are left mean that many organisations across the public and not-for-profit sectors are struggling. But now is not the time to get what you can from where you can. Now is the time to focus carefully on what you want to achieve. Continue reading
“The question of markets is really a question about how we want to live together. Do we want a society where everything is up for sale? Or are there certain moral and civic goods that markets do not honour and money cannot buy?” These are the questions posed by Harvard politics professor Michael Sandel in his recent book ‘What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets’. Continue reading