Category Archives: Public Service

Adaptable Leadership in the Public Sector: Courage to take the Strengths-based Approach for Key Outcomes

Introduction The early 2000s was a febrile period for public services in the UK when government expected improved outcomes for increased funding levels and regulatory inspection and audits were expanding in scale and reach. Direct or implicit intervention was an ever present risk if failure was suspected. Resilient and adaptable leaders were expected to craft effective responses to the challenges. Some interventions took the form of relatively ‘light-touch’ oversight of specific services. In other cases the interventions were more dramatic and included: Leadership teams excised from the organisation Interim leaders installed Governmental appointees sent to guide and oversee improvement Councillors… Read more
Posted in Appreciative Inquiry, assumptions, change, Complexity, courage, Culture change, Good-finding, Interims, leadership, Leadership styles, learning, Listening, Local Government, Make a difference, Organisational development, People, Positive core, Public Service, reputation, Strengths, Supporting leaders, Transformation | Leave a comment

Members and Officers Working Together Through Strengths

I’ve been working with some exceptional people during the past week. Senior officers in local authorities and fire and rescue services who as one writer has it, are “ordinary people doing extraordinary things.” What’s extraordinary is that amongst all of the inevitable complexity and complications of organisational life in public service (sometimes more complex than needs be, admittedly), they are finding ways to deliver public good in an environment of almost perpetual uncertainty, resource reduction and organisational dilemma. This perpetual uncertainty manifests itself in a number of ways. In relation to officers working with locally elected politicians, it often surfaces… Read more
Posted in change, Councillors/elected members, Public sector cuts, Public Service, Public Services, Seeing Systems, Strengths, Supporting leaders, Talents | Leave a comment

Introducing Appreciative Inquiry into another part of the NHS

This week’s blog is by way of reporting on a fabulous two days spent with a superb group of NHS professionals and reiterating the power and relevance of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) in UK public services. During the week just past, I facilitated a two day appreciative inquiry-based learning and action event for 15 NHS professionals in the Midlands.  The event was designed to introduce the managers to AI; both it’s theory and practice. The group wanted to not only learn about AI but to use AI ‘live’ across the two days to produce outputs that they could take away and… Read more
Posted in 4-D, AI, appreciative, Appreciative Change, Appreciative Inquiry, engagement, NHS, Public Service, Theory or practice? | Leave a comment

The NHS, leadership development and the public service orientation

Two recent articles in the Guardian’s Healthcare Professional Network have brought NHS leadership styles and leadership generally to the fore, specifically in relation to the Mid-Staffs Hospital Inquiry and more widely to the raft of process changes underway in the NHS. Part of the debate now involves the leadership style that seems to have been the predominant style desired in both recruits to a senior level in the NHS and, by inference, being turned out by the NHS Leadership Academy. Either way, the critique seems to be that the so-called ‘pace-setting’ style of leadership, whilst appropriate for a wide range… Read more
Posted in leadership, Leadership styles, learning, NHS, Public Service, Public Service Orientation, Public Services, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A week is a long time…for politicians, journos and top cops

My last blog was but a short week ago, when I bemoaned the deficit behaviours of those in the media spotlight. A list of miscreants which later included those who report on the news as well as those who make it – unwittingly or otherwise. Andy ‘it’s (not) a fair cop’ Hayman turned out to be a mere entre to the firestorm that rapidly engulfed serving senior police officers who were lunched, dinnered, or strategically advised by serving and former NI staffers. I also wrote some time ago that the fox hunt that was developing around the NI story was… Read more
Posted in Appreciative Change, Behaviours, Culture change, Public Service | Leave a comment