Delivery by Default

A dozen years ago in my first presentation to an audience of senior civil servants, drawn from across the whole of what was then the Inland Revenue, I put up this slide:

The quote at the bottom was drawn from a memo that had crossed my desk reporting on progress on a major programme that the department had underway.  I was struck, dumbstruck even, by the leack of certainty both in being “into its stride” and “the autumn”.  The slide – with its animation – became widely known in the department as the “falling leaves” slide.

So I certainly chuckled when I saw in the action summary for the Civil Service Reform initiative:

By autumn we will have a cross-Civil Service
capabilities plan that identifies what skills are missing and how gaps
will be filled.

By autumn the Cabinet Office will have completed a review with
departments to see what further examples of change in delivery models
can be implemented this Parliament

I then read @pubstrat’s thinking on bowler hats and was drawn to remember another slide deck from around the same time:

The road to reform is long, winding and very challenging.  Countless companies – with access to the very best talent – have failed at it (whether that be Nokia, Kodak, Comet or any other company that has gone to the wall or is about to).  Government’s very security is that it is around forever without competition.
The road from plan to execution – from talking to delivering – is also long, winding and challenging.  And execution allows you to measure what has been done; talking doesn’t.
I’ve uploaded both of the source decks to my profile page on slideshare. [Testing that link, it looks like slideshare has a problem right now.  They say it will be fixed shortly]

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