Thursday, 4 March 2010

In praise of the public sector

The past week has seen me reflecting on a conversation with a friend who has also worked in the public and private sectors. When asked which I preferred I had to say that my heart still belongs to the public sector. The one real difference I have noticed between the public/private sector is that in the public sector I felt as if my opinion was valued and that there was an equality between staff, senior managers and front-line workers being all equal under the rules of the organisation.

My observations in the private sector remind me of something I once read; explaining the failure of a respected English football manager in Holland it pointed to the difference in footballing cultures. In England players expected to be instructed by the manager, in other words all authority was invested in that one figure, but in Holland players discussed issues with each other and came to collective solutions. Thus it is also with the public sector.

Is it any accident the Dutch are envied the world over for their footballing culture?

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