Meddling politicians make public sector change more difficult

2005

Delivering public sector change is hard enough without managers constantly having to cope with political meddling and back-seat driving, the president of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development has warned.

In a speech comparing the challenges facing leaders in the public and private sectors, Lord Wilson said bosses accepted that management of change was a key part of leadership today, irrespective of whether they worked in the public, private or voluntary sectors.

But in the public sector leaders faced a “unique” challenge of trying to deliver change against the background of political priorities that were not always the same as those of management.

”CIPD research shows that in two out of every five cases where redundancies are being implemented, the job cuts are at least balanced out by jobs created elsewhere in the organisation,” he said.

“This is exactly what the Gershon proposals for the public sector entail - with shifts from so-called backroom jobs to front-line services.

“Yet, in the private sector, leaders rarely have to manage redundancies in the face of deliberately engineered media coverage of the CEO proudly announcing the scale of the redundancies to the world,” he added.