Blair McPherson

  • Good news for the nice

    07 September 2020

    When it comes to climbing the corporate career ladder being nasty or nice won’t determine your advancement, says Blair McPherson.

  • To the moon and back

    30 July 2020

    The model for getting a man on the moon is a good one for the post COVID world of local government, even if councils don’t have the same open-ended budget, says Blair McPherson.

  • We have been here before on cohesion and diversity

    16 July 2020

    Blair McPherson says the only thing more detrimental to the causes of cohesion and diversity than doing nothing is doing a little and thinking it’s enough. 

  • The best managers are misfits and weirdos 

    05 June 2020

    Organisations with a higher tolerance of misfits and weirdos will benefit from their creativity, innovation, energy and enthusiasm, says Blair Mcpherson - and we also need dreamers, visionaries and revolutionaries.

  • It’s all part of the myth

    07 May 2020

    Blair Mcpherson rejects the stereotype of  an old-fashioned local authority chief executive of 20 years ago’ perpetuated by an unnamed special advisor.

  • Is it too early to discuss the exit strategy and local recovery plans?

    07 April 2020

    Blair Mcpherson says that for the COVID-19 recovery plan to be successful politicians will need to look again at the balance between local government and central government – and digging out the Lyons report might be a good starting point.

  • Who you gonna call 

    10 February 2020

    If an urgent problem emerges at a local authority, whose call should a senior director return first, asks Blair Mcpherson.

  • Take a chance on me - the recruitment lottery

    10 January 2020

    Maybe we should just recognise that recruitment is a lottery and get rid of the whole recruitment industry, replacing it with a lottery whereby any candidate who meets the person specification is eligible, argues Blair Mcpherson.

  • Just very good at what they do

    04 December 2019

    What do senior managers do when they are very good at their role but realise they are increasingly unlikely to fulfil their ambition, asks Blair Mcpherson.

  • The absence of the human touch 

    25 November 2019

    Blair Mcpherson ponders a recruitment software package to be used in conjunction with video interviews which analyse a candidate’s performance. He would rather place his faith in the traditional panel interview.

  • Who’s in charge?

    21 October 2019

    Changes to an organisation’s management structure are attractive, argues Blair Mcpherson  - but not at the expense of clarity about who’s in charge.

  • Who are you talking to?

    07 October 2019

    Who you regularly sit down with and who you talk to one-to-one makes a difference and who gets to talk to who varies from one authority to another, says Blair Mcpherson.

  • The answer to the leadership question

    17 September 2019

    Blair Mcpherson looks at how leaders have to come to terms with the apparent contradictions inherent in demonstrating leadership behaviour.

  • All managers have to anticipate

    16 August 2019

    Managers need to be able to distinguish growing problems from everyday problems, says Blair Mcpherson

  • Throw the officers under the bus

    16 July 2019

    In the wake of the events leading to the Darroch resignation, Blair Mcpherson says local government officers, like civil servants, are expected to provide impartial advice rather than tell politicians what they want to hear - and that means giving unvarnished assessments of proposed partners or contractors.

  • A bad influence for the better

    09 July 2019

    Blair Mcpherson explains why it could be a good thing for a manager to be a bad influence.

  • Still the right person for the job 

    10 June 2019

    Blair McPherson outlines the virtues of staying put, of resilience, and of not playing the blame game.

  • Do no evil 

    14 May 2019

    Defining integrity is easy, says Blair Mcpherson. The difficult part is applying it in a complex political environment such as local government.

  • What a good manager looks like 

    23 April 2019

    Assessing the effectiveness of senior managers is not as simple as examining their track record, according to Blair Mcpherson. How do you separate out the effects of available resources, inherited talent, local circumstances, quality of the board and luck? 

  • In space no one can hear you laugh

    26 March 2019

    Each team needs a member 'who is a bit of a comedian, a mediator and peace maker, who takes the tension out of a situation and replaces it with a smile', says Blair Mcpherson