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Meeting the Challenge
We at Spirals Ltd regularly work with a wide range of professionals across the public sector landscape. I use the term public sector in its broadest sense. Increasingly we find that not only does a manager need to be good at the technical aspects of their job, and be a competent manager they also need to be continuously improving their service.
For some it is a challenge and is seen as a fundamental part of their role, and for others it is a problem and a distraction. Given the current pressures within the public sector, for example the reduction in grants and core funding, and the need to deliver more with less, it is fast becoming a constant and as such a key competency that we all need. In short it is the day job for a modern manager working in the public sector.
There are two broad approaches that managers follow. The first is Continuous Improvement. This involves incremental improvements and a step-by-step approach. It is generally low risk and would typically involve:
- Looking at how you do it now
- Establishing measures at key points
- Measuring and monitoring performance
- Identifying and implementing improvements
The second approach is more radical starting with a blank sheet of paper and involves:
- Being clear about what customers need and what
- Starting with a blank sheet of paper - what could our service be like
- Looking at how others are doing it
- Thinking about what technology might be able to do for you
Both approaches have their place and have been proven to work. However, funding bodies and the Government are increasingly saying that the pace of modernisation needs to be faster. In our home life many of the changes are now seen as norm, for example the growth in low cost airlines and on line services. What is good for us as customers must surely make sense back in the office.
We should also remember that there are many examples of improvements across the public sector. But for some it is patchy and too slow. In our work we run a lot of hands on sessions to help teams identify both their strengths and areas needing to be improved. Time and time again we have seen that if professionals are given the tools and time they can meet the challenge and make the improvements but it needs to be pro-actively managed and followed through.
Coming up with the ideas is important but it is only half the story. The manager also needs to be able to implement the changes and to take the staff along with them.
I would like you to think about the following two questions:
- When was the last time you and your team thought your service and how it could/should be improved?
- What improvements will you deliver in the next six months?
We have delivered training to over fivehundred people from approximately twenty different groups. We aim to run the open programmes every six weeks across the East of England. Our clients say this is helpful, as they do not have to wait until there are a minimum number of delegates. The mixture of delegateshelps to ensure a sharing of experiences and makes the events more enjoyable. Many sayit provides a valuable networking opportunity.
Based on discussions with clients and previous delegates we currently offer the following six management open training courses. Except for the Delivering Successful Projects course they are all 1-day courses, and aim to be as flexible as possible, with local venues and organisations able to send 1 person or a whole team.
- Delivering Successful Projects (2 days)
- Coaching Skills
- Developing Team Leaders and Supervisors
- Building High Performing Teams - motivating and empowering others
- Programme Management
- Process Mapping
Each of the courses has been developed specifically for the public sector. All are fad free and use a plain English approach. (We will of course review the subjects following receipt of the IPSM survey information). We are also happy to develop bespoke courses for clients, for example on a different management subject or based on the organisations own approach. Courses are offered at: Hatfield, Haydock, Leeds, London (Bloomsbury), Newcastle, Newmarket and Norwich. The dates are available on the website (Haydock, Leeds and Newcastle will be available shortly). We are also happy to deliver the courses on site, depending on numbers.
The standard price for a 1-day course is Â£195.00 (plus VAT). Multiple booking discounts are available (15% for the 3rd delegate and 40% for the 5th). There are substantial discounts available for regular clients and repeat bookings. IPSM members will receive an additional 20% discount - this is a financial saving for IPSM members and an incentive for non-members. Please quote your IPSM membership number, in order to be eligible to qualify for the 20% discount.
All of the courses come with 30 days free E-Support so delegates get 1 month free support after the course is completed i.e. to help apply the tools and techniques back in the office. The Open Programme dates and venues for the rest of 2006 are shown below. Information relating to other regions and venues can be found on our web site.
Simon Pomfret MBA MCMI,
Managing Director, Spirals Ltd. (Tel: 01953-602505)