A Dependent Client Class

J.G Ballard (Empire of the Sun, Crash and many others) writes in his autobiography, Miracles of Life:

The funds disbursed by the Arts Council over the decades have created a dependent client class of poets, novelists and weekend publishers whose chief mission in life is to get their grants renewed, as anyone attending a poetry magazine’s parties will quickly learn from the  nearby conversations.  Why the taxes of people on modest incomes (the source of most taxes today) should pay for the agreeable hobby of a North London children’s doctor, or a self important idler like the late editor of the New Review, is something I have never understood.  I assume that the patronage of the arts by the state serves a political role by performing a castration ceremony, neutering any revolutionary impulse and reducing the ‘arts community’ to a docile herd.  They are allowed to bleat, but are too enfeebled to ever paw the ground.

I can’t help but think the state is using much the same tactic with community development workers,  third sector and social enterprise communities.

Even in the for profit sector the state has fallen so in thrall of the ‘start up rate’ that many business are started in a flabby and flaccid condition because of the ‘encouragement’, soft loans and grants made available in some areas.

Some thoughts on the Front Line

  • Front liners are capable of taking on far more responsibility than the boxes the system puts them in.
  • Front liners are very modest about their own abilities and skills.
  • Front liners want to do a great job for patients.
  • Managers must learn to let go of more of the power they have thus allowing front liners to get on with the job.
  • Managers must be there for support when front liners need it – they are well capable of judging when they need help.

Sensible reflections from Trevor Gay’s Simplicity blog

I am sure that you will agree with much of it.
But do you ACT on it?
Or do you let ‘the system’ get in the way?

Managing for Autonomy

If we want engagement, and the mediocrity busting results it produces, we have to make sure people have autonomy over the four most important aspects of their work:
  1. Task – What they do
  2. Time – When they do it
  3. Technique – How they do it
  4. Team – Whom they do it with.
After a decade of truly spectacular underachievement, what we need now is less management and more freedom – fewer individual automatons and more autonomous individuals.
Daniel H. Pink
Want to learn how to manage for autonomy?  Get in touch.

Warming the Cockles of Enterprising Hearts

I recently ran some 2 hour workshops for staff at Wakefield College where steps are being undertaken to ‘Embed Enterprise’ across the curriculum.  I got some lovely feedback about the sessions:

  • Enjoyable structure to lesson; enterprise from another angle.
  • Great presenter learnt a lot of new ideas of how enterprise can be embedded across the college.
  • Good varied discussion; topic was quite thought provoking, good and interesting speaker.
  • Inspirational; thought provoking.
  • Really helped me understand the concept of enterprise, both personally and to help the adults I work with.
  • Interactive: Thought provoking
  • Very interesting presenter, stimulating & thought provoking, it flew by.
  • Session leader engaging, funny, and interesting – actually had something important to say.
  • Excellent input led by an interesting person who has credibility and vision.
  • Motivational speaker, clear messages, fun! Message matured my view of what teaching is about.
  • Right messages about enterprise, good pace, good balance of theory and anecdote, good understanding of issues in FE.
  • Stimulating, helped me look at my position at college in a slightly more “empowered way”.
  • Thought provoking, lots of ideas I would like to follow up on / research (if time permits).
  • Food for thought, helped me to basically understand the role of enterprise, training and business has to fill the gap not the need.  A really good session.
  • Flexible, great knowledge, inspiring.
  • Fab delivery, stimulating ideas I’d really like the power points and any refs etc.
  • Brilliant!…….. really interesting, interactive.
  • Variety,  fantastic thanks.
  • Very interesting, good tutor, good use of IT.
  • Interactive excellent, provoking thoughts, highlighted further development, how to manage entrepreneurship.  Team sessions with staff about developing enterprise.
  • Varied session covering a wide topic.  Encouraged reflection on own practice and future role in college.
  • Made us think, interactive, quite moving at times.
  • Very thought provoking, interesting topics and examples, well presented.
  • Good depth.
  • Fantastic delivery, so useful and incredibly inspiring.  Very relevant and realistic, thoroughly enjoyable.
  • (Strengths), presenter and activities, style personality knowledge.

Do get in touch if your team could do with the cockles of their enterprise hearts warming.

Bradford PMN Programme for 2010

I am pleased to say that PMN and Gumption Centres in Bradford are partnering together to give you the opportunity to become an outstanding manager in 2010.  If you want to get better at managing people to improved performance then this is the programme for you:

February 3rd – How to Be an Outstanding Manager – Free Introductory Event

March 24th – Brilliant 121s

April 14th – Giving and Getting Great Feedback

May 12th – Practical Coaching for Progressive Managers

June 9th – Effective Delegation

July 7th – Effective Time Management

Each session will run from 10am till 12 noon at the lovely Gumption Centre in Bradford.

Places will be limited so register your interest now.

Prices (subject to confirmation) will be £120 plus VAT per workshop.  We will be offering discounts for booking early – £99 plus VAT for bookings received 4 weeks before the event.

Or you can book on all 6 events for £475 plus VAT.

You can book your place online here or contact me through this page for further information.