Hello PPMA members and friends

Although not entirely believed by some out there, it has to be said that public services have moved quite some way over the past four or five years. Even prior to the Comprehensive Spending Review, Council Leaders spoke of ‘Transformation’ with real passion to begin to ‘modernise’ public services and by so doing change the nature of their services and their organisations.

For those of us who have remained in those organisations, the scale of change itself is quite difficult to fully appreciate as, like turning round an ocean tanker, (which in itself is considerably difficult), it takes time and as such appears incremental. The change in our horizons has been so slow and progressive that very few of us have been shocked by it.

For those personalities who no longer work in our organisations, particularly those who left five plus years ago, the changes would probably seem to be absolutely colossal. Perhaps the best test of the degree of change in our organisations isn’t to ask ourselves how much things have changed but to ask the same question in the eyes of those who have left. What would they think of the changes? How would they react? Would they have coped?  The sad thing is that many wouldn’t think much of the changes and for some, they would have struggled with some of the new ways of doing things. This isn’t meant to be disparaging to those who have left our organisations, but simply to say that having rose tinted glasses of how good things used to be is a basic human condition that we all suffer from. Indeed, in my days as a young college lecturer in an earlier career, I tend to remember very well why I loved the profession but less so well why I left it!

So, what is it that allows those who remain in our organisations the ability to not only cope with changes happening all around them, but have the will to want to change? The simple, yet complicated, answer has to be leadership, but what is it about ‘leadership’ that really makes us want to embrace change, be its advocate, its champion, its deliverer and its receiver?  To my mind, this boils down to the one important ingredient that all exceptional leaders today need to have and that is ‘personality’. Good leaders can lead through experience, technical ability and vision but exceptional leaders bring with them themselves, their inner being, the very thing that makes them ‘tick’. This goes deeper than simply authentic leadership and further than the traditional form of ‘charismatic leadership’ that many of us aspired to in the past.

Thankfully, there are great examples of such high end personal leadership and the PPMA Annual Seminar next month abounds with them. We have in the programme exceptional personal leaders in their own right and will hear from many of them of other truly exceptional personal leaders they know and have worked with. It was not by chance that we included in the Programme Helen Bailey from the Mayor of London Office and not by chance that we included Jill Youds from Virgin Media. We may not have Boris Johnson or Richard Branson in person, but we do have them through the eyes of other exceptional leaders.

And if that wasn’t enough, for those who might want something a little different and to get up close with their own personality, we have Nikki Owen, charisma and engagement expert to help us exhibit our own personalities to great positive effect.

All in all, a Seminar where personality counts!

Your Vice-President

Richard Crouch