When early warnings fall on deaf ears

Balancing income and expenditure can be a challenge for many organisations with a social purpose, whether they are public sector bodies, not-for-profits or social enterprises. Especially in times like this, when what passes for normal is changing on a daily basis and everyone’s feeling the squeeze. It’s important that such organisations identify potential financial issues early, so that they have time to address them before things hit the fan. But even when early warning signs are evident, they don’t always get acted upon.

Continue reading “When early warnings fall on deaf ears”

Intent. Implementation. Impact

One of the great things about being a school governor* (and there are a lot of great things) is that I get to learn about things that wouldn’t otherwise come onto my radar. One of these is the new Ofsted education inspection framework. This is important not just because it determines how the inspectors will assess ‘my’ school. But also because it has introduced me to the concept of intent, implementation and impact.

Continue reading “Intent. Implementation. Impact”

Understanding value

Higher education in the UK is looking for better ways to demonstrate the value that it creates for its students and for society as a whole. Advance HE (formerly the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education) has been working with a pilot group of universities to explore how integrated thinking and reporting can help. And I’ve had the honour of drawing out some of the insights that the project has yielded so far. Continue reading “Understanding value”

Keeping it in the family

The rationale for outsourcing services has long been an article of faith across the public sector. Lower costs, greater expertise, increased economies of scale. Or so says the theory, at least. And it is a rare local authority – or NHS trust, university or other publicly-funded body – that hasn’t contracted out at least some of its activities.

But what once seemed such a rock-solid argument appears now to be built on less-than-stable foundations. Continue reading “Keeping it in the family”