…at this time of year people in the Public Sector like to have events at which we all come together to get a warm fuzzy feeling.
I think there must be a theory, or at least an unwritten rule about the effectiveness of events and gatherings in the Public Sector, in the case of events the theory states that the more people come together in one place then the more effective the event must have been and the more vital whatever we are all doing must be. As a Leeds United fan I know this theory is fundamentally flawed, the worth of the performance has got nothing to do with the number of people in attendance.
But we in the Public Sector do seem to like the warm fuzzy feeling that coming together gives us, I think there is a sense of reassurance that humans feel when we are all gathered in one place and singing from the same song sheet. Group think kicks-in and even if the song might suck and the tune may be lousy, at least we know we are all singing it together.
I remember at one particularly large and expensive event a man (a real person from the outside world had somehow sneaked in) got up and had the temerity to ask, “what is going to happen as a result of this event?”… you could have cut the air with a knife, Public Sector People exchanging those knowing glances as if to say, “he obviously doesn’t understand the importance of what we do here” … and then he had the audacity to repeat the question, as if he actually wanted an answer. And interestingly no-one could give him a satisfactory answer, no-one could actually state in simple terms why two hundred people who were being paid for out of the Public Purse were gathered in an expensive venue listening to a few people pontificate about numerous untested theories relating to how they can “help” the rest of us.
Events in the Public Sector take on a life of their own, people are there because other people are going to be there, people are there because they are afraid they may be missing something, and of course people are there because attending the event demonstrates their desire to be seen to be working in partnership. Of course the word “partnership” must qualify as one of the most abused words within Public Sector circles of the last thirty years. Everyone is working in partnership … just don’t ask them what it means!
As for what happened as a result of the expensive event I mentioned above, well you will be pleased to know that Public Sector Services in that part of the world have become customer focused, they are twice as effective as they used to be and running at half the previous cost, people from the different agencies are now sharing information freely, people are happier, healthier and the economy has never been stronger. Of course I’m lying, but lets be honest, you didn’t expect anything to have changed as a result of it did you?