This week a guy I’ve been working with retired from his job after 46 years continuous service. In today's world of mobility, interim, project based, think-self world that’s an extraordinary achievement. Last month was my '30th anniversary' of the day I first started working (as a trainee assistant buyer) and I felt a twinge of pride and nostalgia. But I’ve had many jobs, with a fair few employers and as a consultant for over ten years I’ve done projects all over the world for stacks of different companies. It takes some serious staying power to stick with one firm for 46 years. Makes you think doesn’t it?
So Gordon has said the 'C word'. Now the process will begin based on the question facing Local Authority Chief Executives and other public sector Chief Officers….. ‘how do I deliver the same service for less money?’ Neat trick if you can pull it off. There's a saying, "carry on doing what you’ve always done and you’ll always get what you always had". So, CX's will need to change the game in order to handle this Earthquake. Hmmm, interesting.
So, there's £175 billion being spent every year in the UK's public sector, by hundreds of different buying departments of different types, sizes, ability and in different places around the country. There are tens of thousands of framework deals to choose from - varying in quality, they are difficult to access and not always that relevant to the needs of the purchaser. That’s OK, 'UK plc' always muddles through with some great practices and some rubbish ones – we’ll be fine. Fine that is until budgets are cut by 25% accompanied by the challenge to deliver the same or more service. Two opposing forces or 'tectonic plates', gliding into each other, that looks like a potential earthquake to me.
Rain, gloom, doom. No, cant, wont. Recession, crunch, grind. Losses, cuts, retrenchment. Don't forget, you cant save yourself rich. If people are fed up, they perform down and if they are revved up, they perform up. My focus is, as ever - to push upwards and onwards. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. We are not doomed, this situation is just different.