Anyone running a business will know that change management is a key factor if you want to implement any changes that will affect the staff or customers. It’s a very hard thing to do and I kind of relate it to “trying to please everyone”. If a change takes place you want to make sure everyone sees it as a positive move.
Over the last week or so I have been thinking about this more and more as the new Con-Lib Government wade in with a whole host of changes. Have they worked on their change management procedures and thought about the potential negative impact of making the changes that they are planning. The biggest change so far is the big plan to cut public spending by a massive amount. It kind of sounds easy and sensible as it’s just the “public sector”, and we do need to save a vast amount of money as a country. But the “public sector” is a big thing and it’s not just saving money on paper clips in Whitehall, it means savings that will not only affect public servants but a wider sector of businesses and individuals.
Government contracts spread far and wide, and cutting the spending so quickly is bound to have a sharp knock on affect, almost like the shock waves from a bomb. Take i-Level recently who went into administration when they lost a large government contract which was a large proportion of their business, and that was pre-election.
Today it was announced that there will now be a further 650 jobs going at Northern Rock, the bank that the Government had to buy a few years ago when it was in a terrible situation when the global financial situation struck. The reason behind the redundancies is so that the bank can become streamlined ready for a buyer. So the Government plan to sell off one of its assets to recoup some of the money spent, but 650 people will be out of work. Not quite sure where Nick Clegg’s, “fairer for all” slogan fits in now.
The latest Government incentive lead by George Osbourne is to give the public a voice so that they can suggest where they think the saving should come from. Talk about creating a smoke screen, as the Government have already decided what to cut, but they are doing this so that the public feel empowered so will therefore be likely to accept the changes when they come.
The next few weeks and months will be very rocky for the country as a whole host of additional spending cuts will be steadily announced, each having a ripple effect that will affect many individuals and create many more unemployed. I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t have a Summer of strikes. As yet I am undecided whether Labour’s method of spending our self out of recession was the right policy, or if making more people unemployed and more businesses fail is the right way to go (but not sure how it can be).