Health September 26, 2018
Leadership in Turbulent Times: The importance of influence, risk management and engagement

By Daniel Male - Accountable Care Journal

Arms-Length Bodies (‘ALBs’) have come under significant scrutiny in recent years due to the pressures of austerity and frequent changes in the legal and political landscape. This seems likely to continue in the near future alongside the Public Bodies Reform Programme. Browne Jacobson set out to identify examples of best practice in maintaining upwards influence, managing risk and engendering employee engagement in it's latest report: 'Leadership in Turbulent Times: The importance of influence, risk management and engagement'

Key observations: 

  • As we navigate the struggles of austerity and the increasing uncertainty of Brexit, strong relationships between ALBs and their partner departments have never been so important. An increasing agenda towards productivity and balanced relationships is emerging, however, there are still nuances and inconsistencies faced by both parties in these relationships.
  • Seeking out the right relationships can be a difficult challenge but constant changes in the political agenda and personnel are a well-understood problem faced by ALBs. There is strong emphasis on the importance of forming relationships with policymakers, civil servants and those who have the potential to span numerous changes in leadership.
  • As society moves towards championing social autonomy and an increase in publicly available information, trust in experts and leadership is deteriorating. The risk of misinformation and media attention are problems increasingly faced by central government and there is need for ALBs to acknowledge and address these pressures. Wherever...