Blair McPherson

  • 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

  • The £1m question: How corporate are you? 

    21 February 2019

    As we approach the end of the financial year senior managers anxiously request projections. Will the budget be overspent or underspent? It will be one or the other, says Blair Mcpherson.

  • Better Times?

    29 January 2019

    The prospect of working somewhere where the aim is more than survival is tempting.But Blair Mcpherson remembers the wise words of his mentor - which prompted a renewed appreciation of the positive aspects of his role.

  • Who will protect us from the bullies?

    08 January 2019

    Where there is a bullying problem there is also a lack of confidence in HR to tackle it - and it is their role to police personnel policies and ensure fair play, argues Blair Mcpherson

  • Rebel, Rebel

    17 December 2018

    In the real world those with an independent spirit, a willingness to challenge authority and the courage to back their own judgement do move up the local government career ladder, says Blair Mcpherson.

  • Opinions are essential for senior managers

    19 October 2018

    It is essential for senior managers to be opinionated while not having a personal view, argues Blair McPherson

  • Social work is a special case

    14 September 2018

    If the rubbish bins aren’t collected and pot holes aren’t filled, the public protests will be long and loud, but no protestors would say these should come at the expense of safeguarding children, writes Blair McPherson.

  • Are council chiefs much different from football managers?

    17 August 2018

    Blair McPherson looks at the delicate relationship between council leaders and chief executives and compares it with that of the manager and chairman of a top flight football club.

  • Children's services risk management strategy is a leap of faith

    30 July 2018

    Blair McPherson believes some councils are adopting a dangerous risk management strategy when it comes to children's services.

  • Can you be a top director?

    18 July 2018

    There is a huge gulf between being a manager and being a director. Blair McPherson discusses how best to approach the delicate balancing act of being a senior officer.

  • Big data and water carriers

    01 June 2018

    Blair McPherson says it takes all kinds of people to make a winning team, and we need to make sure our organisations have the right balance of skill and leadership.

  • MPs are quick to criticise and slow to praise

    25 April 2018

    In my experience many MPs think they should have more influence on their local council, writes Blair McPherson.