The leadership challenges

Here is a way of understanding the multiple leadership challenges that parties will face in making the Review a success.

This advice is particularly relevant for directors of children services and their chief executive and other managers, and elected council leaders, lead members and other local politicians, and agency partners.

Category Observations
1. Implementing changes recommended by the Munro Review and in accordance with subsequent Department of Education announcements, directives and guidance. These changes are of two kinds (see below). This concerns change-management leadership.
1a. Putting in place fixed changes by key dates that affect such measurable items as appointments, new structures, new roles, new committees, new processes, new IT support, etc. The scale of these is not yet clear and will vary across authorities.
1b. Shifting the organisation culture in children services in the direction advocated by the Munro Review. This is more open-ended. It is a never-ending journey of monitoring, improvement and learning.


2. Risk management. This is of two kinds (see below).
2a. Transition risks There are risks during any period as changes are being introduced while continuing to maintain high standards of service, care and child protection and customer relationships: e.g. fragmented relationships, low morale, turnover, switching over to new systems, etc.
2b. Culture slippage This concerns vigilance over the risk of old habits, values and systems creeping back towards a compliance and control culture.


3. Ongoing day-to-day leadership of local authority children services, agency partners and staff who will provide the new child protection service using the methods, approaches, style and systems advocated by the Review, once the changes have been implemented. Once the major change stage is over, leadership will be required in daily situations, as well as in maintaining the new culture, new standards and seeking continual learning and improvement, especially under tight budgets.