Breaking up is hard to do: essential skills for managers

A new government is elected, a program is cut, relationships are shattered. Can you salvage a working bond? Be honest and look towards a mutually beneficial future.

When a new government is elected, the prevailing world order is shaken up. Prime ministers, premiers and ministers make the decisions that put into effect the promises they have made. Change is forced upon government and non-government organisations alike. Programs that once were thought to be desirable, worthwhile and valuable are discarded in the blink of an eye.

As always, the detailed work of implementing the new — and the hard work of dismantling the old — is left to public service professionals.

This work can sometimes be very hard going for managers who have a program that is running smoothly and relationships, say, with partner organisations that are based on contracts, certainly, but also professional respect and mutual trust.

Let’s consider a specific example.

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