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

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

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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

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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,

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Mindful leaders

Jan 21st

Recently on TV a small feature caught my attention. It reported a rather surprising innovation being trialled in a secondary school in Kent which is using lessons on building ‘mindfulness’ to help the pupils be more aware of themselves and what is going on around them.  The pupils themselves are already saying that it is helping them to focus more both in class and in their school work and achieve better results. The classes are simply exercises in ‘mindful meditation’ 

Mindfulness meditation is a Buddhist idea also known as ‘insight’ because the intention is to gain insight into the true nature

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This article is filed under: leadership

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How to live on Planet Introvert

Jan 08th

About 25% of the population are introverts.  This is a minority, but a significant one, especially since there seems to be a greater concentration of introverts amongst intellectually gifted people.

Myers Briggs defines introversion in terms of the source of energy which a person draws on in order to function in the world.  Introverts get their energy from within.  Extroverts need external stimulation (a bit like lizards in the sun). Jung says that we all prefer to behave as introverts or extroverts – one or the other.  We are born with this preference, and it remains with us throughout our lives. 

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This article is filed under: communication,

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Do we have the talent we need for the future?

Dec 04th

This is the question many business leaders are now asking themselves. The recession woke us up, forced us to evaluate our business propositions (a good thing in my view), prompted us to redefine our strategies for the changing marketplace and that is now bringing hard questions about our current talent into sharp focus.

I think it’s shown that in the good times we were much more focused on managing the talent we needed for today; attracting the best, developing and retaining the people that are critical to delivering results in the short term. And we didn’t have to worry too much

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This article is filed under: leadership, talent management

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Lessons to learn from the public sector

Nov 12th

It used to be a one way street.  A public sector anxious to learn would look to the private sector to know how to do things better.  From the public sector reforms of the 80s where ‘private = good, public = bad’, to the Blair reforms with an increasingly mixed market, the public sector has always had a slight inferiority complex about the private sector.  (This perpetuated the myth that there was one homogenous thing called the ‘private sector’ which was uniformly excellent in all that it did…)

But there are distinct signs of the tables turning.   There are some real

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This article is filed under: stakeholder management, values

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What makes boards great?

Oct 30th

The board of a newly-merged business recently put ‘getting to know each other better’ at the top of their wish list for the board. Given their huge strategic agenda and complex business challenges, enjoying a board dinner or two together could seem like fiddling while Rome burns.

In fact, knowing each other as people is the basis for respect between board members, and respect is the basis of trust.  Members of the board had instinctively latched on to the thing that would make most difference to them adding real value to the business. 

Research shows that the conventional wisdom about what makes

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This article is filed under: leadership