Could do better – our verdict on the programme for government ‘audit’

There should have been a further column saying whether a commitment has been fully met, partially met, in progress, not met or dumped, with an appropriate explanation. We know that inside Whitehall, progress is being tracked in these terms. At the launch of our Open Letter last March, Sir Jeremy Heywood, the Cabinet Secretary,...

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Bridesmaids revisited

, 9 January 2013

In the last year, since Jeremy Heywood and Bob Kerslake took over as the duumvirate at the top of the Civil Service, seven people have been promoted to head government departments. Not a single one has been a woman. In that time, some of the most high profile women in Whitehall have decided they...

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How the Mid-Term Review could have been improved

First, there is little sense of what the top priorities are for the government as a whole, apart from deficit reduction and boosting growth. Like a Queen’s Speech and all too many cross-Whitehall statements, the statement reads like an accumulation of the departmental submissions, many written in ghastly jargon such as ‘we will transition...

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Performance related pay: what Whitehall should learn from UK Sport

, 19 December 2012

And others suffered cuts – notably swimming, which underperformed in the fantastic Aquatic centre with two bronzes and a silver; archery, volleyball and badminton which were all medal-free zones. The clear message is that sports federations who deliver results get funded – and those that don’t, get cut. The day before UK Sport’s funding...

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Spectator sport – learning lessons from the Olympics

, 17 December 2012

It took the best part of a decade for the London Olympics & Paralympics to be bid for, won and ultimately delivered. It took 29 days for both events to provide a festival of sport that would swamp the BBC Sports Personality of the Year shortlist. It took the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) a...

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Learning from the best

, 14 December 2012

Managers then had to produce ten-point action plans on how to implement innovations that they had picked up on their secondments. This example is one amongst many of how organisations share knowledge to improve performance. Inspiration can come from unlikely sources and I find that by looking beyond your department you can often find...

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