When Directors go over to the Dark side
Have you noticed the number of senior social service managers taking early retirement , resurfacing in the private sector trying to sell local authorities private sector solutions to health and social care issues. These managers were strong advocates of the public sector ethos who have now gone over to the " dark side".
What does this tells us about the state of the social services/ public sector? What does it say about senior managers values and career paths?
Senior managers in the past often retired and then did some work in the voluntary sector , used their experience and net works to help a charity. Those days have long gone, voluntary sector grants have been savagely cut they have no money they are shrinking faster than the public sector. Public sector managers are currently retiring early in large numbers as local authorities save money by cutting management posts. These managers are younger and not ready to retire they are happy to work with what previous generations considered the old enemy.......
The passion was strong in them when they we young. They were a force for making a difference. They trained hard in the arts of social work and then studied the great management gurus in the highest seats of learning.They fought many battles on behalf of the old and the disabled, they sought to protect the weak and the vulnerable , a force for social justice and a champion of society's outcasts.
There were great victories in the early days but in more resent times there have been many set backs as the dark side has grown stronger and those trained to defeat it have become fewer in number. In the face of over whelming odds and feeling increasingly undervalued many have given up or chosen a different way of life far far away. Some have been turned to the dark side, seduced by the offers of big bonuses, private health care and all expenses paid conferences in hot, exotic and distant lands. Acting as advisers to the dark lord himself or those in his inner circle. Joining the very forces of privatisation that in their previous life they resisted so passionately. Others whilst not embracing the dark side survive by collaborating with it in the grey areas of the "not for profit" . But it is those who have turned to the dark side who now try so hard to get the rest of us to do the same. The universe has changed they say, the old ways no longer work, the dark side is stronger, resistance is futile. Join us. Enjoy the benefits and rewards that your skill and experience deserve. Or resist and stand by helpless in the face of the inevitable whilst all that you built is swept away and a new order is established.
The rebells are demoralised and dispersed across a galaxy of organisation's their voices distant echoes of dissent their only hope an old man but what can one man do.....
Blair McPherson ex social worker, former director, author and blogger www.blairmcpherson.co.uk