image

Partnership working and a coalition government

May 07th

We’re suddenly faced with the prospect of a coalition government.    That seems a rather scary and unbritish thing.  It doesn’t exactly smack of strong government (remember back to Margaret Thatcher ticking off one of her wet colleagues, Francis Pym, for venturing to suggest that a rather smaller conservative majority might make for better government and stronger Parliament).

But need we be so scared?

Look at the corporate world.  It is full of examples of alliances and partnerships.  Few companies exist completely as their own island.  They depend on suppliers, retailers and the myriad of others who make up their value chain.  They

READ MORE

This article is filed under: leadership, partnership

image

If a disaster has your name on it, your brand pays

May 05th

Big process industry companies pay dearly if safety goes badly wrong, even if the front line operators involved in a disastrous accident are subcontractors or suppliers.

On 22 April 2010 the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, operated by BP and owned by US contractor Transocean sank two days after a massive explosion killed 11 workers. Since the explosion, at least 210,000 gallons of crude oil a day have been spewed into the Gulf of Mexico.

In the words of Group Chief Executive Tony Hayward, “We are fully committed to taking all possible steps to contain the spread of the oil spill. We are

READ MORE

This article is filed under: corporate responsibility

image

Direct engagement over religious marriages

Apr 28th

Recently I was honoured to be asked to take the role of independent chair and skilled facilitator for an exciting new initiative from the Ministry of Justice.

In response to the issue of religious marriages not being legally recognised, the Secretary of State for Justice, Jack Straw, supported face-to-face meetings to discuss these issues directly with Imams, given their influence in the community and role in officiating over religious marriages.

Having a religious marriage that is not recognised under civil law, often means people can encounter difficulties with division of assets should the marriage break down, and with inheritance and pension issues

READ MORE

This article is filed under: communication,

image

‘More for less’ versus ‘waste’

Apr 06th

Since last year the biggest challenge for the UK public sector has been to find ways of doing “more for less”.  Now, however, we are starting to hear a lot more about “waste” – especially after the recent TV Chancellors’ Debate.  Is this just a change of words, or is the distinction important?

Our big challenge is to reduce the public sector deficit as quickly as possible without putting the fragile recovery at risk.

In this context, perhaps a focus on waste is useful. It certainly makes people think about how much taxpayers’ money is spent on activity of little or no

READ MORE

This article is filed under: more for less, waste

image

Getting to basics on culture change

Mar 25th

If the term ‘culture change’ has you reaching for the metaphorical remote control to change the channel, you may have heard one too many pious exhortation to change the culture.  I’ve heard two apparently contradictory views on culture recently that reminded me of what is at the root of organisational culture.

John Seddon of Vanguard Consulting can be relied upon for trenchant and provocative views and he recently took the head of HM Customs and Revenue to task for talking about and investing in culture change.  The point he makes is that if you can get the flow and organisation of

READ MORE

This article is filed under: culture change, organisational culture, values

The Budget and public spending

Mar 24th

Cuts in the public sector are what everyone has been expecting. How much and how fast is yet to be seen but it is going to be tough. 

 The challenge brings an opportunity because chopping piecemeal here and there won’t deliver the savings; so public service organisations will have to re-think what is delivered, how it is delivered and the system of institutions that do the delivering. 

It’s time to demolish silos, cross boundaries, get over precious professionalism, ignore the usual excuses and do what is right. 

Read the Budget at a glance  http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8584608.stm

READ MORE

This article is filed under: more for less, organisation design

image

Leadership development 1,000 at a time

Mar 12th

The old adage goes: leadership development is a tough, laborious and lengthy process, and usually happens one person at a time. When tackling it, the industry norm is to plump straight for 1:1 coaching or small group leadership courses, which are more often than not costly ventures. But are they really impactful enough, how about challenging the norm and trying something different?

What do you do if you only have one hour to work with a leadership issue, and an audience of 1,000 people? You book a big theatre in the West End, work with actors to bring the leadership issue

READ MORE

This article is filed under: communication, , leadership

Employee engagement award nominations

Feb 05th

Two Stanton Marris clients have recently been nominated for awards for our work with them.

London Borough of Lewisham and Birmingham City Council have beaten tough competition to be nominated for the Employee Engagement award by Local Government Chronicle. The nominations highlighted ‘cutting edge corporate work’ which displayed councils’ ambition and imagination.

Lewisham LBC has been nominated for the ‘Lewisham Way’, an innovative service transformation programme developed with HR by Stanton Marris to engage teams across the council in service improvement. 

Birmingham City Council’s BEST programme, which has already won four major awards for the combined BCC BEST team and Stanton Marris,

READ MORE

This article is filed under: