July 2010 - Uncertainty Toolkit

 

We live in interesting and uncertain times and unfortunately he reaction of many is to freeze. Paralysis in the public sector is going to cost as much as the cuts themselves if people are not careful, and uncertainty about the future is being used as an excuse for doing nothing.

I've been putting together a toolkit regarding dealing with uncertainty, aimed chiefly at the Third Sector, and it seems to me that many of the issues have wider applicability. There are things you can do to mitigate risks, for example:

  • Working as a team to avoid over-dependence on an individual
  • Scenario planning
  • Working out at what time something really has to happen and which events are critical
  • Using Quality Assurance as a way of improving flexibility
  • Diversifying
  • Doing things in stages
  • Working with others

but I wonder how much these approaches are really used by local authorities and the more general public sector. Is it time for change?