Fallout from poor change management

Change Management: Story War

Image via Flickr

Earlier in the week (see previous post) I wrote about the redundancy measures being implemented by North Yorkshire Police.

Like many others, I am still convinced the force is adopting a methodology of knee-jerk reaction and solutions that are, a short-term fix for more widespread and long-term issues.

Since the announcement of the financial cuts born out of government austerity measures, and despite direction and assurances about frontline services being preserved, countless public sector agencies and local authorities have commenced pruning from the front backwards. But why is this?

Mystic Ethel and the day of the long knives! – In a past post on redundancy measures in the local police force (So much more than job losses), I commented about the real effects and wider issues of the process. (Read more)

In my opinion, any management and administrative structures, in any organisation but not least the public sector, have the propensity for being self-replicating. The all too prevalent ethos of many in those positions tends to be one of self-promotion and self-interest. In many ways this is a direct result of the selection procedures currently employed by many organisations. Continually being expected and required to ‘evidence’ that you actually posses ‘drive’ and ‘determination’, often has a knock-on negative impact upon the organisation.

If the organisation, system or process you are responsible for managing predominantly involves human factors and interaction, expressing and displaying too high a level of personal drive isn’t a good trait to possess. You actually end up alienating yourself from your colleagues and subordinate workers.

After sharing my previous post with Facebook friends and followers, I received the following feedback…

My brother: U can’t make it better by looking for fault and blame either let it go or come up with something constructive and positive for once; pruning creates new growth leaving dead and doing nothing, only causes more to go rotten. The biggest fear peeps have is change… but without change things get can only get worse.

A past colleague: Sometimes it’s not what is done, it’s the way it’s done. I do agree where one door closes, another opens. But getting kicked in the nuts before you go through the door is not good.

Me:  Bro, I fully support your ethos and subscribe to it myself however as xxx points out, the real issue is the management of the whole process. I have always said there was a need for change or pruning and long before the implementation of any govt austerity measures.
My glass is still half full and every cloud has a silver lining but it is difficult to impart that positive attitude on others who are being shafted.

A past colleague: On a serious note, if you research management of change models you will find that your efforts to encourage a positive mindset to change are essential to the health and well-being of everyone. I am in the process myself and know how difficult that is but we all have to learn to move on. I am sure you will know this. Health and Happiness. 🙂

Me: I have never been ‘resistant to change’ and am always more than able to ’embrace’ any change that is for the common good, irrespective of any personal impact. What I have difficulty with is, change being implemented from an individual or silo basis of interests!

A past colleague: Sorry but that is how NYP has always worked and people promoted. Once I got used to that fact I did not get so stressed. As they say, God give me the strength etc!

Me: I’m not stressed mate but I have always believed, the change that society and people want does not come about by people laying down to be trampled over. There will always be a need for Nutter who is prepared to stick his daft head above the parapet. 🙂

A past colleague: Hello from another Nutter! 😉

Me: We are resilient, we will pick up the pieces and rebuild… My concern apart from the personal one is, the knock on effects to officer safety and nearly as import, the negative impacts upon service delivery for the residents of the county.

And whilst discussing change in policing at Linkedin ‘Police Debate’ one of my co-contributors wrote…

Leaders generally have to draw a line at some stage regarding career promotion V conscience. Most leaders become politically astute and sometimes selfish… The preservation of the self often leads to a failure to accept constructive feedback and acknowledge flaws to the detriment of the services provided. Things then become autocratic. – Rajendra P Joshi, BA (Hons), PGCE, MA (Ed).

As a manager, it is impossible to please all the people all the time however; shouldn’t there at least be an element of humanity in that managerial process? And, any change must always be for the common good of the organisation and product or services it provides. It should never be developed from a self-interested perspective or thought through with a parochial and silo mentality! As I have said before, it’s so much more than job losses we need to be concerned about.

Many will be considering a move from the public to private sector, it takes a shift in how your present your skills, says Sue Weekes in Edge online – Swapping sides: From public to private sector.

Perhaps all the above is one of the reasons why; over three quarters of UK employees say they’d consider moving abroad. Whats driving them away? Edge online – We’d rather work abroad, say UK employees.

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About Dave Hasney

National Coordinator for UK SMART Recovery - Previously a Recovery Worker and prior to that a Management Consultant and H&S Practitioner - Kept sane by Angling, Good Food, Real Ale & Wine - Cynical thoughts sometimes developed from others.

Posted on 09-02-2011, in Leadership & Management, Police, Public Service Babble and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. In my own force we have a surfeit of senior ranks. We worked out that if each of them was paid at midrange scale all the C/insp.and Supt ranks cost £5.5 million per year without any spurious bonuses.
    Due to a new approach they are changing the structure which has resulted in lots of senior types getting posted to departments like change management etc.
    Many non police officer staff are being made redundant and a number of police posts are not going to be replaced. There are better ways to save money and reduce the effect on personnel down the ladder. Usual story, senior managers looking after themselves, whilst providing no obvious benefit to the provision of services to the public.
    always reckoned the German description of the British forces during WW1 fitted our mangers , ‘ Lions led by donkeys’
    Bring on the revolution…………

    Like

  2. Whistle Blower

    An interesting outlook and arguement has been given here… Sadly cuts are too much and too soon. Bearing in mind these austerity measures have been planned over a four year period, why is nyp doing it in four months? Perhaps someone is trying to promote a favourable image of themselves to an authority that they have recently come to blows with?

    Like

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