Friday, January 14, 2011

3D Juggling 511: Underemployment

Claire writes: I had one of our cups of coffee last week with someone who works for a public sector organisation which has already made its first round of redundancies.  Those people who are left are expected to deliver the same service with less resource.  Does that sound familiar?

It may well be that their work can be done differently and more effectively with less people.  But only if they have time to stop and think.  James Watson, an American scientist, said: “It is necessary to be somewhat underemployed if you want to do something significant”.  Creativity comes when our minds are not fully or over occupied.  What can you do to create just enough underemployent in your week? Think about it...

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When we are working with executives and executive teams we often become aware of ‘tension’ between executive directors (EDs) and non executive directors (NEDS).  Typically EDs value the external experience, expertise and challenge that NEDs bring whilst experiencing frustration about how this is offered (‘they don’t understand our constraints...’), and NEDs value the experience, expertise and commitment of EDs whilst experiencing frustration at their assumptions about what’s possible (and often, in the public sector, an apparent lack of accountability).  We’re thinking about how NEDs establish authority and relate to EDs, and about how EDs can help them to challenge appropriately. We’d love to hear about your experiences.

Click here for a factsheet from the Institute of Directors about the role of a NED

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