Decisions and development (or lack thereof) were the order of the day at today's SHR breakfast at Roast. Having collectively decided not to allow the "Murdoch Pause" for fear of running out of time, we discussed how the workforce will adopt differing ways of completing work.
Senior management came up several times - from keeping them engaged and ensuring their buy-in to the difficulty of knowing that their focus is always financial so you have very little chance of getting anything on the agenda. Is it true that finances are driving information/records/knowledge programmes rather than strategy? There's a sense that people are meeting the immediate need rather than addressing the long-term strategy meaning the the level of effectiveness is never improved.
Cuts, change and, subsequently, some resistance have fuelled a sense of frustration and low morale and one term that reflected the whole situation is that they have a 'hangover' - in many cases self inflicted, painful but with the knowledge that it will, ultimately, get better. The realisation that this has happened before means that there is awareness of the cyclical nature of events. Cutbacks also mean different ways of working, for example using social media. This, in turn, has massive reputational risk - can we see this as a challenge to our profession to raise its game? We discussed examples of other departments who make the most of their confidence by promoting their services internally and externally. Conversely, we talked about examples of people who don't want to be seen to make a decision, even though approval has been given, as they are afraid any deviation from the original plan will be looked upon negatively. We should use our expertise and be decisive whether others aren't. Sue Edgar quoted a former colleague who said "it is easier to seek forgiveness than to ask permission".
I'll conclude on the subject of responsibility. It was quite apparent at yesterday's Select Committee hearing that no-one, specifically the Murdochs, wants to take responsibility for something that has clearly gone wrong. We discussed at length how we must understand personally and professionally what it means to take responsibility and to act upon it rather than sit back, deflect blame and give one word answers.