My apologies for a break from my weekly blog. After five weeks of skipping my schedule, I resume my series on funding of environmental services.
As expected, my blog of five weeks back received some thought provoking responses. Read more »
‘Just letting you know, Raghu’, said my friend, a passionate advocate of participative urban planning. ‘Whatever you do, don’t try to solve the stray dog problem’.
‘Where does that come from?’ I asked. I was not expecting that. We were discussing strategies of how to get people interested in coming together to solve their civic problems. Read more »
The coming years calls for adopting the new age strategies of bridging leadership and adaptive leadership if civil servants are to make a difference. Training alone cannot make a difference in leadership styles and effectiveness. A combination of training, institutional reforms and adopting some simple personal habits might accelerate this transition in leadership. Read more »
First and foremost, the IAS needs to consciously work on curbing swollen heads within their tribe. Read more »
While some aspects of dysfunctionality within the government system have been built up through several civil-servant driven decisions that go against fundamentally accepted principles of federalism and decentralization, the civil servant cannot be blamed for all weaknesses of the governance system. Moreover, it would be unfair to cast the blame on each new crop of civil servants for the mistakes of her predecessors. Today’s administrative system is a challenging environment, with many stakeholders and interests that are often at loggerheads with each other. Even as fractured systems are being rationalized, a civil servant in the field has to deal with situations that arise, there and then. This brings us to the next question, which is whether civil servants can consciously cultivate the qualities required to be an ‘adaptive’ or ‘bridging’ leader. Read more »
Do civil servants consciously design dysfunctional systems, so that they can have more opportunities to show that they are indispensable? Just one example is sufficient to support my contention that they do. Read more »
In my previous blogs, I had elaborated upon the new thinking on leadership, which believes that leadership is not about ‘leading’ in the conventional sense as understood. Read more »
This week, I had intended to plunge into the question of whether senior civil servants could undertake acts of leadership, or cultivate traits that would make them bridging leaders. Read more »
Last week, I had elaborated on Heifetz’s idea of ‘leadership without authority.’ To refresh our memories, Heifetz cited Gandhi as an excellent example of such leadership, which, in his words, ‘push us to clarify our values, face hard realities, and seize new possibilities, however frightening they may be.’ Eric Michel, who amplified on Heifetz’s pointed out that leader Read more »
Last week’s blog probably was my most boring one so far. There were hardly any responses to it, primarily, I think, because people were primed to read some salacious details about how the civil service is trained, and all I was giving out was some theoretical gyan on leadership in general.
Undaunted, I shall continue in the same vein. Read more »