Public managers should stop telling people how to behave |

Dave Clements has flagged-up further evidence of, what we [at Ontonix] have come to recognise as, EXCESSIVE COMPLEXITY. The inevitable culmination of years [and layers] of mismanagement, fluctuating budgets, changing legislation, increasing regulation, conflicting strategies – often driven by Corporate interests and, of course, a healthy measure of ill-conceived (often purely politically motivated) knee-jerk reactions to the latest crisis.

All-in-all a hybrid form of institutional abuse…the kind that kills trust, fails service users, drains frontline initiative, hurts society and paralyzes the institution!

“Thumbs up” to a transparent Big Society, built from the bottom up: collaboratively. But a “double thumbs down” to a prescriptive, top down approach.     

A truly active citizen acts of their own accord and not according to the imperatives of public management. The good news is that by ditching the policing of people’s behaviour we might emulate the vision of a big society in which responsible citizens take the reins. This is why we should adopt an alternative approach: one that genuinely enables people’s autonomy rather than smothering their initiative.


Insurance broking: What do you do when you’re in a hole?


Easy isn’t it?

Why then does an industry, I care dearly about (sad I know), refuse to do so?

Too many leaders are so immersed in the prevailing culture that they will readily recruit, at great expense, “Development Executives” to go out in a desperate effort to attract the volumes of new business that their budget forecasts dictate. Then get twitchy and irritable even when a “successful” conversion rate (in the current market 2 – 3:10) fails to deliver the results they hoped for.

That’s the way the market is…deal with it! Because you sure as hell can’t change it by sticking to what may have served you well in the past and is pretty similar to what everyone else is doing.

How much would a company pay to recruit an Executive who would add 10% to company earnings? Would you believe them? Read more of this post

What next for the Sustainable Development Commission?

Sustainability chart

Image via Wikipedia

On 22 July, Defra announced that it is to withdraw its funding for the Sustainable Development Commission from the end of the financial year.

Discussions are still taking place in the three Devolved Administrations to decide how the work of the SDC in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales will be taken forward.

However, Defra has indicated that it plans to mainstream sustainable development within Government.

» Read SDC Director Andrew Lee’s letter to all SDC stakeholders
» Read SDC Chair Will Day’s response to the announcement

UK Government’s progress towards sustainable operations saves £60-70m a year
The SDC’s fifth annual watchdog report reveals that, by running their operations more sustainably, Government Departments are saving money as well as reducing energy and water consumption, emissions and waste.

» Read more

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No transparency = no trust

The Head of FSA tells us/them that: Banks Must Restore public trust

He should realise by now that, until such time as regulatory bodies and politicians ACT to force change, this will sound like yet more sabre rattling in an attempt to fool the public…or have grown I too cynical!?

BBC – Peston’s Picks
“It is counter to common sense and social justice that taxpayers should insure investment banks, which are no more socially or economically useful than any other kind of imaginable business”.

Are these the same taxpayers that elect governments and own banks!!?

“The level of debts written off because defaulting borrowers will never repay them shot up in 2009, Bank of England figures have shown”.

Oh no(!), how the hell could that happen??? It’s OK I am only kidding. I do remember.

THE MESSAGE TO BANKERS FROM GOVERNMENT: Don’t worry about it. Don’t fret for your professional reputation, financial penalty, prosecution or the impact of your collective actions upon your relations, neighbours and fellow citizens – we really should be happy to help – For, as long as the routine is to “privatise profits and socialise losses” and tiptoe around regulatory change nought will change.


Leadership: “Thompson Twins” still raining on OUR parade

When will our political and [their co-conspirators] financial leaders, finally realise that for as long as they are the living embodiments of a ME culture (greedy and self serving) their actions will betray the falsehood of their hollow words!?

Any chance they have of re-igniting the embers of trust…over which they continue to dry the cold sweat from their twitching hands…is dying fast!

The game is up!

We have all seen damage that the creeping cancer of greed has done, to a greater or lesser extent, in every area of our lives: social; economic; environmental; cultural. Of course it is more readily identified in the area where it tends to thrive but just take some time to ponder upon “cause and effect”.

Self regulation is NO regulation

The Government developed an unholy unhealthy, dependence upon the vast tax revenues generated by an, essentially, unregulated banking sector. Taxes that have been mismanaged by our political representatives! They have shown themselves unworthy of our continued trust

(1) failure to adequately regulate banking activities – investment & UK personal credit

(2) expenses scandal – cringealongaJacquiSmith

“Police evidence suggested that between 28 June 2007 and 31 March 2008 Ms Smith spent 26 more nights in Redditch than in London – her account had suggested it was only two”

Someone who can’t readily establish the difference between 2 and 26 is, obviously, in need of some assistance…at least with their numeracy. Apparently her husbands eyesight has been deteriorating too…due, no doubt, to working long into the evening under a poor light whilst his Missus was stuck in London!!!?

BUT to make matters worse and confirm that it isn’t “number blindness”, or something similar, she even attempted to smear her sisters neighbours for daring to speak the truth about the amount of nights she spent in London. FACTS easily established by referring to Police records for protection staff locations.

How can these people even talk about “integrity”, “trust” and “transparency” whilst they continue to sell us “recovery” when they know that we STILL aren’t being told the whole truth. If the full extent of the financial abyss was truly known surely we would have heard about outline plans for a grand economic strategy unveiled during the party conference season. Instead what we got was a big box of patches and a “Taxation for dummies” style approach that will be the start of a process to introduce the worse news on the drip.

Fear of process to transparency is obstacle to change.
They have badly miscalculated the extent of the disgust that the public feel. They have also failed to realise that they have underestimated the collaborative tools now at the disposal of savvy and concerned individuals to entrepreneurs to collaborate, to provide, a more engaged sustainable strategy and leadership that will advocate transparency and sharing.

My fear is that, unless the clamour for change continues to gather momentum, the current or next government will continue to allow the banks (that we own) to divert funds away from an SME market being starved of much needed liquidity. Why would this be allowed to happen? Some may speculate that, IF things are as rotten at the core as I believe, we do not yet know the full extent. We have no reason to trust either institution.

IF the government intervention, on our behalf with our money is so, apparently, ineffective and the banks are using the same philosophy (as got us into this mess) to deliver short term results. It is a mere smokescreen whilst they regenerate, safe in the knowledge that they can get away with talking the talk until they can get back to peddling debt.

It may be nonsense and I could have drawn the wrong conclusions in which case I stand to be corrected. But the longer the government can stave off the  signs that recovery will be W -shaped (I am not alone in believing that this is – almost – inevitable) before an election featuring opponents who are only as bad as you, there may still be a chance of hanging onto power. Then both politicians and bankers can get back to business as usual.

If it is all the same to you I would rather not leave my destiny and that of my children in the hands of the people who have given us £30K debt per UK household whilst they amassed enormous wealth for themselves and, now, stand to add to that wealth as they manipulate this “new” money in the markets(hopefully) recovering the traumatic events of the last years.