First let’s touch on the 2020/21 Federal budget. What a whopper! Money, big money, is being thrown at everything. I am not going to suggest that this is not an appropriate strategy in the current situation vis-a-vis: recovery from triple disasters (drought, fire & coronavirus); anomalies in the health system (general, emergency and aged); technological risks (privacy, hacking, interference, crime & rapid change); and border security both internal and external; to mention just a few factors.

At the risk of being boring I’ll reiterate that “there is no free lunch”. While the budget is generous to many agencies/organisations it will be wanting for others and the Government will demand a significant early return i.e., a growing, vibrant and sustainable economy underpinned by a safe, healthy community and leadership that is delivery focused and risk aware.

Each of us will need to address some old and persistent challenges including developing and accepting new ways of working and service delivery, rapid adoption of new technology, development of the new skills required to manage a modern and indeed a futuristic public service and business community, organisational adaptability and agility, whilst being sustainable and environmentally friendly.

There won’t be a quick fix available and on many occasions we will discover a certain approach is no longer the best one. To ensure our services continue to be delivered efficiently and effectively with minimal disruption while undergoing significant and radical change will require a paradigm shift in mind set for management and staff alike. A paradigm of principles-based management might be appropriate. But what does principles-based management look like?
With principles-based management the organisation (we, management and staff) does the right things, the right way, by the right people for the right reasons. We recognise the need for standard corporate policies, procedures and guidelines however we understand the latitude of choice and innovation in decision making allowed for by these standards. We understand that any application of principles needs to be undertaken within an encompassing framework of best practice.

Whatever is the core function of your organisation will determine the principles to be adopted however here are some based on best practice to live with as we consider and implement the budget measures.

Executives lead with purpose communicating business objectives and strategies to achieve them, decision making is transparent.

In the organization both management and staff collaborate across boundaries be they internal, inter-agency or across jurisdictions.

Adjustments are considered and decisions reviewed to deal with ambiguity as it arises and routinely.

As the environment changes, it is good practice to re-align with priorities to match the business needs and those of the Government by adjusting strategies and tactics.

Management will deploy diverse skills that suit the new ways of working and ensure a qualified and competent staff.

Initiatives derived from the budget measures are identified and designed so that stakeholders can realise measurable benefits and, as a result, adapt some initiatives to maximize benefits or identify new ones.

Bring pace and value to the desired organisational change by establishing empowered governance and incorporating regular independent assurance of the right things being done the right way by the right people for the right reasons.

So something new is about to be revealed but not just yet, however before the end of 2020. If you want a sneak preview of how to adopt a principles-based management approach and how to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of your change initiatives contact Tanner James as we are not good at keeping secrets.