Our MD, Ian Jones, shares his thoughts with Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the progress he is making as we continue to battle COVID19 in the UK….
Firstly, please accept my thanks for everything you and your team are doing to help the UK overcome the challenges brought on by COVID19. I guess it often feels like a lonely and impossible task, but I do believe that the UK is starting to turn the corner.
As a ‘critical friend’ to many organisations, I thought you might welcome my perspective on how you might strengthen your leadership in this crisis:
· Be clear – I’m sorry to say, but Sunday’s address to the nation went down like a lead balloon! You got your messaging completely wrong and you left us all thinking “what did he just say?”. Subsequent alignment of messaging across central government, devolved governments and other political parties left a lot to be desired!
· Be transparent – The number of tests needed – versus the number of tests completed – versus the number of people tested – continues to be confusing, as does the disparity in the number of registered deaths (as per ONS) above the historical norms that are COVID-19 related. You have made some progress in recent times with reporting the tragic deaths in care homes but there remains a disconnect in overall numbers.
· Be alert – we have a ticking time bomb in the form of mental health and wellbeing arising from this epidemic. Think through how best to mobilise support for UK citizens as they come to terms with personal grief, unemployment, demand for new skills, increased taxation and burgeoning debt.
· Be honest – These are uncharted waters. Mistakes will happen – we get that! Admit to your mistakes and encourage a culture of openness and trust across Government and the public sector, stamping down quickly on acts of dishonesty, e.g. don’t tolerate the situation where doctors are “being silenced on PPE” for fear of retaliation.
· Be reflective – You have done some great work in preventing economic scarring in the short term and have mobilised public services to good effect. Build on the lessons learnt. Reflect on how the public sector has responded superbly through willpower, agility and streamlined governance to overcome historical barriers to change. Throw away the policies and processes of old – don’t allow it to go back!
One final thought as you and your team head into the weekend – and hopefully seek some respite. Always put yourself in the shoes of the people – if you and your team are prepared to ‘walk the talk’ then chances are the direction you are taking is a sound one!
Take good care – stay safe!
Ian Jones – Your Critical Friend!
Read on LinkedIn here.