Posted tagged ‘process’

Holding your hands up

July 12, 2011

Sometimes it's a fair copResponsibility is a strange and many headed beast. On the positive end of the spectrum the word responsiobilty shows who is able to lead effectively, who can be trusted to make the right decisions and who bears the burdens of leadership at any level well.

On a less positive note, it also places huge burdens on those individuals which are often difficult to bear. Responsibility for ensuring a project is a success despite constant problems and fire fighting; responsibility for making decisions based upon little or no information; responsibility for doing the things that should be done rather than need to be done.

In the UK recently we have and are continuing to have the arguments over true responsibility and where it sits. The disgraceful practices which marred and caused the rapid downfall of the News of the World shocked the nation, with continuing furore surrounding those at the very top of the leadership chain. These individuals claim to have had no knowledge of the situations and operations taking place on their watch, by their staff, in their name; to crudely borrow a term from our American cousins they are pleading the fifth.

Yet again, this is an area where local government is not getting the credit it deserves. (more…)

Employing a star?

February 21, 2011

Over-achiever or self-printed certificate?

I recently heard an amusing story from a friend of mine in a council in one of this nation’s big cities.

The council my friend works for was in the process of employing a new senior member of staff (when I say senior we are talking one of the top five or so members of staff in the local authority; the sort of person who would definitely be on Eric Pickles list… It is no secret that local authorities are currently under a lot of pressure and this job was considered by the members of the council to be so important to their long term future that they dreamed up a very complex recruitment process.

I’m no HR professional but when the recruitment process used was described to me I was very impressed. There was:

  • Testing
  • Interviews with other senior officers and members
  • A speed dating interview event with staff and other stakeholders (including customers)
  • A presentation

So why tell this story?

Because the council in question were sold a pup. Apparently their new senior manager is about as effective as Jeremy Clarkson at a save the earth rally.

I’m talking mocked by other councils, laugh out loud bad.

It’s still early days but if this is true and the member of staff doesn’t help deliver the high quality that is not only expected but clearly needed then this recruitment process will turn out to be an unmitigated disaster.

Why does this happen? How could an appointment that bad, which within the first few months is widely criticised by those outside of the organisation, still occur even after this extensive recruitment process?