The way we do things around here

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.

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It’s a people thing

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

Building resilient public services

At the annual conference of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) last week, Amyas Morse, the head of the National Audit Office, called on the government to explain how it will respond to failing public services in the new environment of increased competition and spending restraint. Continue reading

Doing the right thing

An atmosphere encouraging exemplary behavior is probably even more important than rules, necessary though these are. […] Contemplating any business act, an employee should ask himself whether he would be willing to see it immediately described by an informed and critical reporter on the front page of his local paper, there to be read by his spouse, children and friends.

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Three easy ways to cut travel costs

Travel costs might not form the biggest part of your organisation’s budget, but they are probably one of the easiest to cut. However, while restricting how much your people can travel may help to save money, it can also restrict their ability to do their jobs well. So before you cancel all off-site meetings or ban everyone from leaving the office altogether, try these three simple ideas. Continue reading