Follow your leader?

Or perhaps your leader needs to follow you?

In a short (36 pages) and pithy report entitled “Whole systems go!”, Professors John Bennington and Jean Hartley examine public leadership in the round on behalf of the Sunningdale Institute.

What has this to do with e-government or metrics? Well, John Benington proposed a model for the Foundation for Information Technology in Local Government (FITLOG) some ten years ago that I employed in a dissertation and journal article – it concerned ‘mobilising the bureaucracy’ and I thought it was great.

Now the new report is still trying to wake up the bureaucracy.

For example, they pick up on ‘public value’ and it appears that John Benington has something about to go to press with Mark Moore about it: 
“Public value means what is added to the public sphere and this may be social or economic, or it may be political, environmental or even more broadly about quality of the life.”…”In addition, a public value perspective requires examining the impact of public services on ‘customers’ and users but also the impact on them as citizens.”

Similarly, in terms of targets, they expect: “a wider view of organisational performance than imposed (or self-imposed) inputs or activity targets, but rather to think about the values and purposes to which the talents of Public Sector managers and leaders are being put.” 

Finally they conclude:  “This suggests that generic leadership and management theory may not be universally applied, but rather that there are some issues which require consideration of context and circumstance.” (Christensen et al – Christensen T, Laegreid P, Roness P and Røvik K (2007) Organisation Theory for the Public Sector London: Routledge.

If that wasn’t enough to link with the blogger, Sunningdale is the home of the CIO Council and the Local CIO Council, the latter of which includes the blogger.

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