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Blair Mcpherson

Blair Mcpherson


Blair McPherson was Director of Community Services at Lancashire County Council. He has worked as a Deputy Director in social services and as a senior manager in a large Housing Association. He has been a member of the Professional Executive Committee of three Primary Care Trusts and works closely with a range of organisations in the voluntary, community and not for profit sector. His management career started in Birmingham City Council where he acquired his passion for equality and diversity and his recognition of the need for high quality management. He is a regular contributor to the professional press with over 500 articles published. He is author of four books An Elephant in the Room: An Equality and Diversity Manual, UnLearning Management: Short stories on modern management , People Management in a Harsh Financial Climate and Equipping Mangers for an Uncertain Future published by


Recent activity

Blog Posts (239)

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Comments (127)

  • Comment on: Great leaders live and breathe their values

    Blair Mcpherson's comment 11-Jul-2014 5:30 pm

    A friend drew my attention to a series of personal comments put on face book about a former colleague. The hostile comments had been provoked by an article the individual had written but the criticism wasn't about content, it was personal. The individual was an ex senior manager in the organisation those commenting had all worked for. Despite all concerned having left the organisation many years ago these individuals, judging from the comments, could not forget or forgive. The crime,being regarded as responsible for the forcing out of a popular director. Such loyalty ,such resentment and such naivety! As my friend said the new manager was brought in to change things but was never accepted because of their commercial background, even thought it was generally agreed that big changes were necessary because of the changing financial climate. The new person was simply doing the Boards biding. The director who left was indeed popular and had excellent people skills but even those who admired the values they stood for would concede that they were unlikely to address the financial issues in the way the board wanted. Which of course was why the board over looked them and brought in someone from out side. The director having lost the battle for the future direction of the organisation was astute enough to take the very generous packed offered. Why so much personal animosity after so many years? Whilst some of the changes over seen by the new boss were unpopular and seen as more to do with financial consideration rather than quality of care non of these managers felt strongly enough to resign or move on ,many were still there when the new boss was in turn replaced a few years latter. Should we be surprised that a group of managers should still be in contact with each other many years after they had left the organisation and that they should hold such personal animosity to a former boss? A boss who appears to have been considered reasonable by those who worked directly for them and as no worse or better by the wider organisation. Is this a case of misplaced loyalty,the need to find a villain responsible for the loss of their hero, is it resentment at the loss of their influence or naivety about how organisations work? Perhaps the lesson to be learnt is that we should neither seek to make our leaders heroes nor villains.

  • Comment on: Simon Stevens will draw the poison from NHS leadership

    Blair Mcpherson's comment 20-Jun-2014 3:09 pm

    The title reflects the venim in the article. Certainly the NHS has had a very poor reputation for the quality of its management and the lack of leadership at all levels.Whether this is justified is debatable because the NHS has become a political football in a game managers can't win. I don't expect the quality of management to dramatically change if the political and financial environment remains the same.

  • Comment on: HSJ Live 12.06.2014: Colchester suspends employee over cancer data probe

    Blair Mcpherson's comment 12-Jun-2014 4:51 pm

    A political consensus on pooling all NHS and social care funding. At the same time there is a growing professional opinion in the opposite direction!

  • Comment on: Stevens’ nuanced view of change challenges cultural conventions

    Blair Mcpherson's comment 10-Jun-2014 3:15 pm

    Technocratic vision? Does this mean leave it to the experts? Well better them that the politicians ,business people or the economists. What about patients are they to be concidered experts in their own care? Does this mean that the future designe of the NHS would by led by Doctors? That would be like an education system designed by teachers! Which is fin until you introduce a cash limited budget. Or have I misunderstood the use of the expression "technocratic vision" is this really just another way of saying big data and managerialism will rise to the challenge if allowed to do so?

  • Comment on: Simon Stevens' first interview: parts of the NHS must be 'completely reinvented'

    Blair Mcpherson's comment 30-May-2014 12:12 pm

    More radical change,more structural reorganisations all very distracting. What would be really radical would be a statement to make the current structure work, no reorganisations, no restructuring, no re configurations, no more out sourcing. A five year plan to focus improving the quality of care and treatment.

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