The Great Debate UK

Is the public sector really ready for change?


- David Jarrett is chief executive at Bath Consultancy Group. The opinions expressed are his own.-

For many leaders in the public sector it’s one thing to demonstrate a convincing rationale for change, show the graphs and numbers that justify your proposed strategy, draw up a new structure and win a mandate to make change. Yet this is only half the job. The other – perhaps most challenging half – is implementing this new way of working without your best people leaving, morale crashing, performance falling through the floor and dissatisfaction erupting among your customers.

In light of the public sector cuts many people anticipate will be announced following the General Election, now, it seems, is the time to question if the public sector is fit for the challenge that change on this scale represents?

An internal and external change

Given that the change demanded from the public sector is so radical, it certainly needs to be change that cascades and engages beyond the formal organisation structure to incorporate other stakeholders, including politicians, partners and service users. Not an easy or enviable task.