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Management and the Public Sector

2011/05/15

Overheard this weekend:

The Number One rule of management in the Greek Public Sector is: “If you want something done, assign it to someone who already has too many assignments and is overloaded”.

This closely follows my decade long observation that management works with those who work, leaving the rest at peace.

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2 Responses to “Management and the Public Sector”


  1. I agree… with an exception (concerning the civil servant). The salary … that is assigned to himself (although doing nothing).

    • adamo Says:

      Regarding your observation on doing nothing: Let me count the ways. I work in the Public Sector and can tell you with authority that doing nothing is extremely hard. Allow yourself an hour to try it out. Those who you think are doing nothing, are either doing something else, or are doing their work inefficiently (with personal indifference about their work included).

      However you have to disconnect this from the salary: The work that he has to do has this salary evaluation. The fact that he is not doing said work reveals the existence of parallel hierarchies that are deeply installed into the system and daily demotivate anyone wishing to work.

      Again, your problem is not the salary. Suppose the salary is 50% or even 10% of what it is today. Would this be a fair salary for “doing nothing” when in fact you want them to “do something”?


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