Things are not going well. Moral is at rock bottom. Performance against a number of key indicators has drawn criticism from all quarters. We are at the wrong end of the league table and our prospects for improvement are described as, “poor”. Some are questioning the strategy I put in place, others complain of budget pressures and cuts that have limited our options. There is a view that we failed to recruit the experience and quality we so badly need. Some say we are not competitive enough and staff in some areas are coasting. Passions are running high and at the last senior management team meeting things got heated and things were said. I would be a foolish manager if I didn’t listen to my team.
It not pride that’s stopping me adapting our tactics or changing the strategy, sometimes you do have to say this isn’t working but is this one of them?
It’s been suggested we bring in a very expensive well know management consultancy. I suspect the motive and doubt the wisdom.
Some of my most talented people are looking at posts in other authorities. This is unsettling other team members and leading to accusations that not everyone is as focused and committed as they need to be. External criticism from inspectors, auditors and the media has in the past resulted in a siege mentally, us against the world, which I have been able to use in our favour. Not this time. There is speculation about my future and this is unsettling some of my most loyal and trusted managers. I know they are thinking if I go the new boss may not want those so closely associated with the old bosses regime. There are undoubted one or two, may be more, who would be glad to see the back of me and me them. I am not a quitter although sometimes I do wonder whether it’s worth the hassle. My wife and family are supportive but think I am daft to put up with unfair criticism and responsibility for things out side my control. But I have always thought that my best quality was resilience, the ability to bounce back. However sometimes the decision is taken out of your hands this may be one of them.
Blair Mcpherson former director of community services, author and blogger www.blairmcpherson.co.uk