Guardian Public Service Summit 2011

Last year I blogged about the summit .  Here are my thoughts from this year: What is the Summit and Who Goes? The Guardian Summit is held annually, lasts two days, and attracts a good range of speakers – examples this year included  Nick Clegg, Katherine Kerswell (Kent CC), Peter Marks (CE of the Co-operative…

The Chief Executive Salary Trap

A short piece I wrote for a recent LGC section, reproduced with their permission.  All the other stories, including an analysis by LGC that shows that contrary to past trends many incoming CEs are now paid less than the incumbent, is here. Two years ago many authorities found that upward CE salary pressures meant they…

A Model of Community Leadership?

Following a very useful and broad ranging conversation with Daniel Goodwin, I was motivated to write this as a thought-starter – it has certainly given me new insights into the role of community leader that we may need as part of the “Big Society”… A Model of Community Leadership David is a Community Leader. David…

The Voter’s Role in Election Congestion

This is the text of a short article published in this week’s LGC The recent experience of people “denied a vote” is a potent example in the ongoing debates about “behaviour change” and the responsibilities as well as the rights of citizens within their community and the state.  There is something absolute about the right…

The Future of Local Organisational Structures

Recently published in the MJ Up to now the structure of authorities has been largely prescribed by statute or convention.  Although there is more variety at District Level, top-tier authorities have remarkably common structures, often driven by the existence of certain statutory roles, not least the Director of Children’s Services. That is already beginning to…

Notes from the Guardian Public Services Summit 2010

Broad Themes Times are going to be very tough, and it will be a tough time to be a public sector leader … (but) There are tremendous opportunities to do things better, differently …(though) We will need to create space for risk-taking…. (and) Many solutions will rely on the more sophisticated use of the third sector and…

The Challenge of New Ways of Doing Things

Last week a couple of local authority chief executives, a young entrepreneur leading a future government consultancy and I got together to discuss ideas from the emerging field of social media and – critically – how they could be adopted within local authorities. The conversation was quite wide ranging, covering some of the tools of…

Why don’t more CEOs come out of HR?

I’ve frequently wondered why some professions or backgrounds are more strongly represented at Chief Executive level than others.  Some of it may simply be that some professions offer a better grounding for that job.  However it does seem to me that there may be other factors at work, I suspect that some professions are held…

Careers in and around Local Government

This is an extended and adapted version of a talk for alumni of the National Graduate Development Programme at their first conference 18-19 June 2009. We’re going to spend a bit of time talking about careers.  If you look in the dictionary you’ll see a definition of career that’s about a purposeful work-based or professional…

Re-energised in Gateshead

In Gateshead this week for the first alumni conference for the National Graduate Development Programmme for Local Government (Veredus is a sponsor).  Some excellent speakers – great for renewal of purpose, and a reminder why what we do matters.  Energised myself by the energy of the alums – they know that tough times are ahead…

Choosing an Organisation Structure for Local Governance

For as long as I’ve been associated with Local Government (coming up to a decade) the structure of local authorities has been pretty well determined by statute.  Certainly the scope of what is in a local authority and what is elsewhere is pretty well set.  And certain statutory roles like a Director of Children’s Services…