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The Right Person at the Right Time

As the race to be Prime Minister continues, I have been reminded of how important it is to have the right resources in place for a particular role at a certain time. Far too often we see people in roles that are not right for them or they are in that role at the wrong time.

Some people are excellent at delivering change, or working in an environment of continuous change or even crisis. Others are experts in dealing with a steady state and managing an operation on a daily basis.

In the same way that operational people are excellent at adhering to strict processes, managing a crisis often requires radical thinking that will make the necessary changes required to manage their way through a crisis.

I have often seen perfectly good operational people be moved to manage projects whether that be transformation, system replacement or even organisational change and really struggle to make this transition.

I have heard about football managers who with great experience have missed the day to day involvement with their teams when given the opportunity to manage their countries.

There are differences between being a tactical or strategic expert.

So selecting the right person for a role is critical and identifying the correct skillsets and experience is essential. We are often asked to work on an Interim basis which is ideal when projects are in place. I believe that it is very difficult to focus on managing the day to day routines when also focusing on a project. Bringing in somebody with the right skills at the right time will result in a project being delivered whilst the operation remains sound. Sometimes this involves an Interim managing the project but on other occasions it may be that an Interim Manager is required to allow the opportunity for the existing Manager to focus on project delivery.

So going back to the PM role, we have seen a situation where there has been enormous change over the last three years but we do not know what the future will hold. Policy is one thing but leadership style and capability is an essential selection criteria.