With the massive gap in public finances, the public sector is facing up to the period of expenditure reductions. This will without doubt require many changes to be made if the economy is to get into a solid footing again. So what lessons should leaders in the public sector bear in mind when it comes to making change?
It is fine for those at the top of the organisation to talk about the challenges and possible actions. Yet, if they are to happen, sufficient numbers at different levels need to see the importance of making change.
When I worked in the public sector, either as an employee or as a consultant, I came across many people who cared passionately about what they did. They were great within their area but had never received any training in the area of change. If you are going to deliver success through a change initiative, you need to equip people to make it happen.
I don’t mean this literally but, if you want to get people to buy in to any sort of change, you need to clearly show what’s going to be different from the present.
Changes to processes and practices might require some effort but essentially they can be done. Changing hearts and minds so that people accept the new way rather than harping back about the good old days is the real challenge.
The Bottom Line
Change brings with it fear, anxiety and a desire to hold on to things even if they are not great. The challenge for the leader is to make the change compelling enough to people who can make it happen.
Duncan Brodie of Goals and Achievements helps accountants and health professionals to achieve success and realize their professional potential through being highly effective leaders and managers. For more information and to sign up for his free audio e-course click here
Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 7,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.