The gap between the flash and the bang

The bright idea is followed by, nothing. To misquote president Bill Clinton being a senior manager is like being in charge of a cemetery you have a lot of bodies underneath you but you can't be sure anyone is listening. He was probably having a bad day with Congress. Truman another US president described this gap between the flash and the bang as ," I sit here all day trying to persuade people to do things they ought to do without my persuading ....". Most managers would recognise that feeling. 
Of course public sector managers are not unique in experiencing frustration at the sluggish pace of change but with such pressure to change things quickly in the NHS, local government and the civil service the time lag seems more pronounced. I wonder if this is a partial explanation for the frequent restructuring that has characterised both the NHS and local government it being much easier to reorganise services or change the management structure than it is to change peoples thinking on what is feasible and desirable. You can after all impose a new structure and determine a time scale for implementation but changing the way people think and behave, the culture of an organisation that takes a lot of persuading. Which explains why people within the NHS,local government and the civil service complain of the disruption and distraction caused by frequent changes yet little by way of improvements to show for it. 
Politicians experience the same frustration the differences is whereas the professionals  would argue for giving time for changes to be made to work the politicians have an election time table to work to.
It would appear that the Big Bang comes a long time after those flashy policy statements, if it comes at all.
Blair McPherson author and commentator on the public sector 

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