Good to see that the courts service is getting the hang of the agile thinking which is so vital in our modern world. In its annual report, HMCTS records that permanent staff numbers are down by 1,800 in five years, as eye-watering cuts hit home. To fill the gaps, the service has more than doubled the number of agency and contract workers.
All of which makes the assertion that staff are ‘fundamental to our success’ seem a little dubious.
And how is the service looking to support people to cope with the ‘ambiguity and uncertainty’ that change brings? Through baffling management speak, of course. According to its report: ‘Throughout 2016, our leadership cadre went through a development scheme with an initial emphasis on building capability in authentic, self-aware and emotionally intelligent leadership behaviour.’
All clear? Then do go on: ‘Following the development of our leadership cadre we are beginning to create and pilot policies and approaches that reflect the principles regarding how we engage with our people. We have also recognised an emerging talent and capability gap in our pipeline to senior leadership roles.’ We think that means: ‘We want more good workers to get promoted.’ If any are left.
But the courts service should not rest on its laurels. HM Land Registry is also showing a splendid grasp of corporate flannel. It is no longer a boring but reliable custodian of titles but a thrusting player in the world of ‘proptech’. Chair Michael Mire (late of McKinsey) enthuses: ‘HM Land Registry’s strategy is to make its part in developing, buying and selling land and property, and collateralising mortgages and loans to provide finance almost totally frictionless.’
Good to know.