Whether it’s recovery from the recession, managing to cope with £81bn cuts in public spend, or providing transformed services to citizens; arguably underpinning all of this is improving performance in public sector leaders.
However, colleagues are we confident that we have the requisite leadership and performance management capabilities in the public sector to meet these not insignificant challenges?
According to a survey of 1,250 public sector workers conducted by Hays in January 2010 (The Hays Public Services Leadership Survey) 93% of respondents identified a lack of effective leaders as a significant factor in meeting future demands. To take those immortal words from the ill-fated Apollo 13 space mission, “Houston…we have a problem”.
The Hays research was not alone in drawing depressing conclusions this year though. More controversially researcher Knox D’Arcy in August 2010 published a report claiming 68% of working time was not spent productively – typically as a result of poor supervision in local government.
The research also suggested the private sector had more robust systems that generated personal accountability for performance.
Finally Knox D’Arcy claimed that improving productivity within local government could ‘significantly offset’ the government’s deficit reduction measures and ensure that the same amount of work could be done with 500,000 fewer employees…coincidentally the same number predicted by the CIPD to be facing unemployment as a result of the £81bn spending cuts announced via the Comprehensive Spending Review.
But please don’t put the noose round your neck just yet – and put all sharp implements away. Help is at hand.
Work to develop support, guidance and practical case studies demonstrating effective public sector performance is underway – watch this space for future announcements. We can do it – we can improve public sector performance… despite the gathering doom-mongers circling like vultures around the supposed dying public sector carcass.