Why is central government not listening?
The pandemic has given local authorities the opportunity to shine and demonstrate to government that we can work effectively together, argues Blair Mcpherson.
Blair Mcpherson explains why he believes business sector high flyers decide local government is not for them.
Be a dictator but be a nice one
In difficult and uncertain times clarity and direction assume a greater importance and people management skills never go out of fashion, says Blair Mcpherson.
Officers work for members – or do they?
Blair McPherson says his old boss was right to remind officers that they work for members - ‘but I’m sure most members would agree it’s not that simple’.
Sorry is the hardest word
For the sake of the organisation sometimes you just have to swallow your pride, accept the criticism, and say and do what is expected, according to Blair McPherson.
The difficulty with hired guns
Independence and credibility are not the only factors to the fore when deciding whether to use management consultants, says Blair McPherson.
Good news for the nice
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
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
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
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
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?
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
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
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
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
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?
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?
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
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
Managers need to be able to distinguish growing problems from everyday problems, says Blair Mcpherson