What they say

Stephen Archer is a speaker with great charisma. By using illustrations and personal experiences and not being afraid to share his own point of view of the current situation and who is to blame for it, he engages the whole audience, at the same time helping us all to understand the credit crunch a little better.

— Warwick Business School


Will the state learn from business?

The initial excitement about budget cuts is now causing some major head scratching and protectionist thinking in government and local government. This is natural enough; after all, a saving target of up to 40% is huge.

The exact areas of savings are now starting to emerge though defence is grabbing the headlines so far. There are two things that will lead to long term savings. Good judgement on what items can be reduced and secondly good practice on how they are reduced and indeed how the state manages its affairs. So putting aside the reduction on the dependency state; RAF Tornados, speed cameras etc. etc, the real wins will come from management of all services with efficiency, logic and return on investment as uppermost in the leaders minds.

Leadership must examine ruthlessly the effectiveness and necessity of people, departments and offices. The state at 44% of GDP has now become so overblown that it has in itself generated a quasi dependency of the country on it as an employer. This is not sustainable. A commercial mind set with productivity, value and effectiveness as the measures must be applied.

Will the state look to industry for experience in these areas? Lord Browne is just one of many who have been consulted but a small, short term, strong team of industry people need to be parachuted in to a) improve efficiency and b) bring new rigour and c) cut the £3bn a year spent on consultants in addition to the highly paid and often bonused civil servants.

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