Rumours have been floating about that a significant reorganisation of the Hastings Council staff is afoot.
We asked CEO Ross McLeod to clarify the situation. Here’s what he had to say via an email to BayBuzz received today:
“In July last year I started an organisational development programme aimed at improving the capability of the organisation to help Council and its communities meet the challenges they face and achieve their goals. This is an ongoing change initiative that comprises of several components which will variously address processes and systems, culture, structure, integration and coordination, and the way we work and the approach we have as an organisation. It runs alongside the future planning and LTCCP work we have been and are working with the community on.
As part of the organisation development programme we undertook some initial capability analysis work. Following that I drafted the first phase of a reorganisation proposal which was the subject of consultation with staff, in particular those likely to be potentially directly affected in an employment sense.
That consultation period has now come to an end and I have finalised my decisions as to the changes in the first phase. There are a number of changes signalled in terms of changed groupings and accountabilities within the organisation. Just as importantly significant changes in approach and leadership culture are signalled as being required. In terms of changes to existing roles, the first phase focuses on the executive management or leadership layer of the organisation. Phase two will look at other teams and roles in the organisation and will commence in the latter half of the year.
The impact of the changes is that six of the seven roles on the current Executive Management Team are to be disestablished. Six new and substantially different roles are created in their place. As they are substantially different roles, in line with our internal policies they will all be advertised later this month on the open market. Applications from existing staff have been welcomed as part of this process.
Until such time as changes to the leadership structure have been made, the existing structure and team remains in place. Implementation of the proposed structure is likely to occur from end May onward.”
Sounds pretty significant to me. One year in, the CEO is moving to put his stamp on the Hastings Council. As he indicated to me, Mr. McLeod has conferred with the Mayor and Counsellors, but he notes: “… the legal responsibility for organisation management and employment matters lies with the Chief Executive.“
Adding to the importance of these changes is the proposal about to be signaled in the HDC long term plan (LTCCP) to embark on a “customer service” initiative, complete with building additions (a new “customer service centre”) and customer relationship management systems and software costing around $5 million.
” Customer service” is much more a matter of staff culture than it is infrastructure, and in that regard I emphasize these words of the CEO: “Just as importantly significant changes in approach and leadership culture are signalled as being required.” Indeed! This is the improvement many in the community are waiting to see.
Ross McLeod regards all of this as what Americans call “inside baseball” — that is, only of interest to the players directly involved. But he’s wrong about that. Plenty of people in the community interact with staff and cope with precisely the attitudes, messy processes, and confusing responsibilities that he has apparently set about to fix.
So we all have a stake in his reorganisation … and we look forward to reaping its rewards.
P.S. Meanwhile, over in Napier, rumour has it that Neil Taylor has been re-signed to a lifetime contract as CEO, after a non-competition for the post. Everyone at NCC can go back to sleep now. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!