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Meeting The Challenges of the Future

September 23, 2013

Constant change is a given.  This is why the world needs management consultancy.  Businesses need to get and retain competitive advantage by identifying opportunities to develop and expand, and need constantly to improve their effectiveness and efficiency in what they already do.

Although the harsh laws of survival in the market do not apply in the same way to public services and administration, good and effective government depends on the ability to drive up efficiency and effectiveness – to do more with less – and to anticipate and prepare for change in order to meet the needs of citizens.

The pressure for change is increased at the moment by a series of “game changers” that are affecting the UK, and other advanced economies.

  • The credit crunch and the resulting debt crisis mean that countries will have to live for decades to come with the resulting debt burden.
  • The growth of vigorous new global economic powers offers the prospects of new markets, but also the challenge of competition, both for markets and materials.  There will be no “free ride” for the developed world any more.
  • New technologies and new manufacturing methods will offer both the advantage of expanding markets and the challenge of fierce competition.
  • The demand for energy is already fostering innovations and research into new areas – shale oil and gas, renewables, and new advances in nuclear energy.

The implications for the private sector – and the role for SAMI – are clear: we must look to the future, visualising the possible scenarios in particular sectors, and use this to innovate and improve.

For the public sector too, there are pressures.  The debt burden ratchets up the pressure to up the game in management and governance, in order to drive up efficiency and effectiveness, and better understand how to meet the aspirations of the citizens it serves.

SAMI has in the past year worked with numerous public and professional bodies, such as the General Medical Council and the Wales Audit Office to help them review their governance and assess their strategic development to meet the challenges of the future.

Government also needs to understand how developments in technology and the wider service sector will create challenges and opportunities on it to improve its “offer”.  People accustomed to managing their bank accounts on their home computers, and integrated shopping, insurance and personal finance services accessible 24/7, will increasingly find the Monday to Friday 9-5 bureaucratic public sector silo mentality unacceptable.

Wise Governments are already starting to look at better ways of working, both more efficient, and end-user focused.   The Cabinet Office is overseeing a programme of reforms of the UK Government and civil service https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/211711/OYO_return_CO.pdf

SAMI has met with the Secretary of State at the Cabinet Office and is working with a leading policy think tank to publish proposals for such a radical rethink of the way Whitehall works.

 

Written by David Lye

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