Blair McPherson

  • Bringing on the bad news

    30 September 2021

    Councillors have stopped worrying about unpopular decisions and probably to the surprise of many this has not led to a revolt at the polls, says Blair Mcpherson.


  • An artificial business solution

    17 August 2021

    Blair Mcpherson says that if organisations are driven by cost and efficiency they will be led by AI, but if they are driven by values and ethics they will be led by humans.


  • Losing the confidence of members

    09 July 2021

    It’s crucial for managers to keep the confidence of members, says Blair McPherson. ‘But the trouble is they are increasingly reliant on the information they’re fed by their bosses.’


  • Time is not on the side of chief executives who need to prove themselves

    28 April 2021

    Blair Mcpherson looks at how long chief executives have to prove themselves before a lack of progress creates doubts about their ability to deliver.


  • Management melodrama dents organisational credibility

    05 March 2021

    Bosses who have difficulty making decisions and whose approach is best described as tactical cause ‘confusion, frustration and outright embarrassment’, says Blair Mcpherson


  • Why is central government not listening?

    16 February 2021

    The pandemic has given local authorities the opportunity to shine  and demonstrate to government that we can work effectively together, argues Blair Mcpherson.


  • Insiders only 

    05 February 2021

    Blair Mcpherson explains why he believes business sector high flyers decide local government is not for them.


  • Be a dictator but be a nice one 

    18 January 2021

    In difficult and uncertain times clarity and direction assume a greater importance and people management skills never go out of fashion, says Blair Mcpherson.


  • Officers work for members – or do they?

    02 December 2020

    Blair McPherson says his old boss was right to remind officers that they work for members  - ‘but I’m sure most members would agree it’s not that simple’. 


  • Sorry is the hardest word

    03 November 2020

    For the sake of the organisation sometimes you just have to swallow your pride, accept the criticism, and say and do what is expected, according to Blair McPherson.


  • The difficulty with hired guns 

    29 October 2020

    Independence and credibility are not the only factors to the fore when deciding whether to use management consultants, says Blair McPherson.


  • Good news for the nice

    07 September 2020

    When it comes to climbing the corporate career ladder being nasty or nice won’t determine your advancement, says Blair McPherson.


  • To the moon and back

    30 July 2020

    The model for getting a man on the moon is a good one for the post COVID world of local government, even if councils don’t have the same open-ended budget, says Blair McPherson.


  • We have been here before on cohesion and diversity

    16 July 2020

    Blair McPherson says the only thing more detrimental to the causes of cohesion and diversity than doing nothing is doing a little and thinking it’s enough. 


  • The best managers are misfits and weirdos 

    05 June 2020

    Organisations with a higher tolerance of misfits and weirdos will benefit from their creativity, innovation, energy and enthusiasm, says Blair Mcpherson - and we also need dreamers, visionaries and revolutionaries.


  • It’s all part of the myth

    07 May 2020

    Blair Mcpherson rejects the stereotype of  an old-fashioned local authority chief executive of 20 years ago’ perpetuated by an unnamed special advisor.


  • Is it too early to discuss the exit strategy and local recovery plans?

    07 April 2020

    Blair Mcpherson says that for the COVID-19 recovery plan to be successful politicians will need to look again at the balance between local government and central government – and digging out the Lyons report might be a good starting point.


  • Who you gonna call 

    10 February 2020

    If an urgent problem emerges at a local authority, whose call should a senior director return first, asks Blair Mcpherson.


  • Take a chance on me - the recruitment lottery

    10 January 2020

    Maybe we should just recognise that recruitment is a lottery and get rid of the whole recruitment industry, replacing it with a lottery whereby any candidate who meets the person specification is eligible, argues Blair Mcpherson.


  • Just very good at what they do

    04 December 2019

    What do senior managers do when they are very good at their role but realise they are increasingly unlikely to fulfil their ambition, asks Blair Mcpherson.