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A visible and congruent leadership and management style

A visible and congruent leadership and management style

At all levels, but notably at middle and front line, there were requests for clearer, bolder and consistent leadership. This was seen as particularly being the challenge for political leaders and senior officers in managing the council’s myriad conflicting demands.

Clarity of vision and articulation of the council’s true direction and the way it was to be achieved were needed to minimize confusion and focus people’s minds and resources.

Clearer, bolder and consistent leadership needed to include:

  • a consistent and congruent set of priorities;

  • processes for managing conflicts of priority and pressure which inevitably occur within complex organizations;

  • a demonstrable commitment and accountability for driving the priorities through;

  • a set of values embodied throughout the leadership, and used as a reference point for decision making;

  • minimization, at the very least, of cross-party destructive tensions.

Corporate leadership was most needed for tackling conflicts between front-line services and the centre. It was also needed for harmonizing corporate policy and the service/functional agenda, and for improving the way change was managed across the organization.

Good management of change was lacking. This was seen as particularly necessary with regards to the major modernizing agenda facing the council. Management needed to start to communicate these changes so that staff felt engaged in the co-creation of their futures, and so that the feeling of initiative overload, where change is endured rather than embraced, was reduced.

It was also noticeable that the roles of different management teams and groups were not always clear. The senior management team and the service heads needed to begin to take a more strategic role, at least part of the time.

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