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Government Sector Private Culture

Before we begin to assume and pass judgement on Private and Government Sector it is important to understand the variations between them.

The simplest way to tell the difference is to see who is in charge!

The private sector usually consists of companies that are privately owned and operated; this may include non-profit organisations and charities.

The government sector consists of various divisions, departments and sectors owned by the government. And depending on the country it includes provincial, state, federal, municipal or local governments.

Government departments tend to focus on providing social services to the public as mandated by law and legislation. Whereas the private sector is not so transparent and their focus lies in maximising profits and results.

There are varying degrees of accountability but managing government and private organisations varies significantly.

Although government sectors may appear to be more accountable, the administration process wreaks havoc with their decision making. They tend to lean toward an “avoidance” culture. This may be due to them being under constant public scrutiny. This also supports the assumption that their commitment tends to be weak and as a result accountability is influenced.

Private business on the other hand will take whatever action is necessary to appease their customers whilst remaining focussed on achieving results and profits.

It is not surprising that the corporate culture in government and private sectors are worlds apart.

Creating a great organisational culture leads to results and efficiency. It’s all about best practice and positive outcomes. In a government setting this would lead to greater productivity, fewer resources in less time and positive customer feedback.

Workers who are happy, motivated and feel empowered will achieve greater results, improve the image and reputation of the company. It will also improve customer satisfaction and feedback as opposed to workers who are unhappy, frustrated and disempowered.

I recently had great pleasure in speaking with an innovative government body. They have been focussing on numerous strategies including restructures and applying service delivery models similar to the private sector. They are at the stage where they are exploring more ways to improve their culture, ethics and values. So committed to this change that they prefer to employ people from the private sector. So far the results have been positive.

This has made me wonder about how many private companies would be eager to employ people from the government sector? Would these workers fit in with the established culture that is unique to the private sector?

Another key factor to consider is “Skills”; afterall all employers focus in appointing the right person for the job. Of course another thing to consider is “Best Fit“. The private sector is more focused on commercial behaviour; motivated by profit and results – whereas the government sector is not so forthright, they are more familiar with due process, beauracracy and compliance. Both areas have different views on work ethic, motivation and decision-making ability.

Lets face it – every work place comes with drama and politics; a dear friend once told me that you take the good with the bad and simply get on with it. But it is the culture of the organisation that will ultimately deliver outcomes. Culture; whether it is toxic or healthy is the glue that holds everything together. It acts as a compass that steers everyone in the right or wrong direction.

In our next Article we will explore what it’s like to move out of Private Sector to work in the Public Sector

HDD Bad Sectors

The most common problem among Hard disk drives is a bad sector. There are two types of bad sectors: logical and physical. While logical bad sectors are easily fixed using particular software, physical bad sectors can be irreparable. But it doesn’t mean there is absolutely no hope. There is still a chance to recover them depending on how “deep” they are. So, below I am going to consider only physical bad sectors, their symptoms, reasons for appearing, types and ways for possible maintenance.

There are mainly two symptoms you can come across with:

1. Blue screen of death appears often showing the error code indicating that a memory read attempt failed. It follows with inevitable restarting and the next blue screen follows pretty soon with similar error code again. The same message is displayed when there is a problem with DDR memory. But memory modules are easily replaced, or even repaired by replacing the bad chip.

2. Operating system doesn’t boot with a message showing that some system files can’t be found.

One of the reasons for bad sectors is that some areas of HDD, which are most often used, “wear out” and become harder to read and finally, completely inaccessible. Though it is possible to “recover” these sectors using some applications, it is better to get a new HDD for usage as the main system drive and the repaired one use for other purposes. The reason is that even though the bad sector is fixed, all your data is safe and the HDD is working again, there is a risk that the previous or the next sectors are also about to crash soon. Using for additional storage purposes is not the worst choice for such hard drive.

Another reason for physical bad sectors is a shock, which exceeds the acceptable limits, especially, inflicted while the HDD is operating. In this case numerous bad sectors are almost unavoidable. Usually, after such an accident HDD comes to an absolutely useless condition, when it will keep making a specific sound trying to start spinning, but never will. Imagine a disk rotating with the velocity of over 5000 rpm. Is it possible to make a single dot on it by touching it with, let’s say a pencil? The answer is “No”. It is absolutely impossible to avoid a nice clear circle instead of a dot. For an HDD such a circle means a huge area of storage, which is inaccessible.

Nowadays, the HDDs have average size of 500 GB and the price ranges around $70. This is an affordable price, but the information contained in HDD might be more expensive. So, such problems as described above need some solutions, and favorably with positive results. As I mentioned, depending on the situation you are, you can use software, which in most cases are helpful. These kinds of applications are able to access the drive regardless the file system and recover the data and even the bad sectors. If you are not sure or it seems that the HDD is completely dead, probably, it is better to have the job done by a professional.

Reevaluating The Nonprofit Sector

The nonprofit sector comprises roughly 9% of the United States workforce and is the fastest growing sector in the U.S. economy with over 1.4 million non-profit organizations to date. The National Philanthropic Trust states that the amount of money given to charities in the U.S. in 2012 totaled $316 billion; over 300% more than a decade ago. With exponential growth in revenue, we expect to see a proportional growth in performance. A cure for breast cancer has not been found, food insecurity dominance remains in Sierra Leone, and we have not skimmed the surface of finding a vaccine or prevention measures for tuberculosis. The failure of congruence between financial growth and performance comes from poor infrastructure within the sector and attempting to combine pathos, capitalism, and taxes.

The 300% increase in charity-giving over a decade cannot be explained by an evolution of society’s gradual feeling of remorse for others. Rather, a combination of greater awareness and the implementation of financial incentive. While we all like to believe that our favorite celebrities and CEOs donate because they feel a social obligation, many contributors donate money to entitle themselves to a charitable contribution deduction against income tax.

Generally, we associate charity with giving to others out of altruism and ethical obligation. Whether an individual decides to donate to charity out of benevolence or tax spurs, individuals always give with the intention of their financial contribution apportioned directly to the cause. When individuals of the general population give $100 to Feeding America, each person invariably requires that their payment be used to purchase $100 worth of food for children. It is easy for one to monetize feeding a single child, but difficult to quantify the benefit of giving money to an organization that spends it on overhead costs. The viewpoint from the donor is basic: when money is given to a charity, it is expected to serve the cause, entirely – any other allocation must be superfluous, after all it is non-profit.

With this in mind, here is an illustration of the operations of a charitable organization. We have Brad Pitt, Lebron James, and Kanye West who contributed a total of $80 million to their favorite charity, Habitat for Humanity [hypothetical situation]. The three celebrities sit alongside the board of directors and the well-learned, well-experienced CEO of Habitat for Humanity at the next board meeting. The CEO claims that they should spend the $80 million on fundraising, research, and hiring – potentially further increasing the revenue and efficacy of the charity. Pitt, James, and West cannot rationalize the idea of spending money on the unessential and intangible. Moreover, donating money to charity that does not use the money on its cause does not make them feel as good about themselves. Following the celebrities’ request, the CEO decides to spend the money on building a number of houses. However, the $80 million could have been expended in other areas that could have raised more capital and increased the effectiveness of the organization.

Conversely, imagine that the three celebrities start brainstorming at the board meeting and decide that it may be a good idea to invest the $80 million on events or research to generate more income. At this point, the CEO has a decision to make – if they decide to invest the $80 million in overhead then there is the chance that the organization does not see a return on investment. If so, then the CEO’s character would be in question – people will begin to wonder how charitable money was spent within the organization, and why the money was not going to the cause. Therefore, the CEO decides to remain prudent and insists that they use the $80 million to construct more homes.

Finally, when the $80 million is resorted to the cause, we see no change in the aggregate amount of homeless or financially insecure because $80 million in homes is not enough to make a substantial impact. The illustration exemplifies the reason why we have not made extensive progress in finding a cure for breast cancer or ending child poverty in Sierra Leone. In the end, the CEOs of charities are always reluctant to inherit any risks, if even granted the opportunity to do so by non-experts such as Kanye West or Brad Pitt. CEO’s of charitable organizations are even discouraged from acting independently by distributing capital to areas outside of the cause because they fear losing the allegiance of sponsors or top contributors.

If Lebron James held a considerable portion of stock in a company such as Walmart, he would not only have minute influence over the company’s operations, but he would not have any input to begin with because he made an investment, not a donation. When somebody invests in a company, they are investing in the management as well, not just the usual implied value; furthermore, an investor’s input to a company would be negligible because it is simply outside their area of expertise. It seems absurd that Lebron James would have some domain over financial activities when carrying his contribution from private to nonprofit sector just because he believes that he and the CEO are on the same obligatory plane. Executives of nonprofit organizations should be regarded no differently than the executives in private sector companies

We believe that charities are basically an agent between the fortunate and unfortunate – the wealthy shares with the underprivileged and charities are just the channel to do so. It’s a difficult mentality to adjust; it seems as though good deeds should be simple and executed as such. In reality, charities are complex, transparent organizations that operate similarly to those in private sector. Social entrepreneurship cannot thrive as long as its incentives and disincentives remain. Executives in the nonprofit sector need to be granted further autonomy and incentivized by reasonable risks. The infrastructure of the nonprofit sector and the configurations of organizations, respectively, need to be altered to allow innovation. Potentially adopting more principles associated with private sector could allow nonprofit organizations to reach the parallel between proceeds and performance that we expect from them.

Author Simon Sinek is best known for popularizing his concept of the “golden circle”. The golden circle is a basic but powerful paradigm of leadership. The significance of the golden circle lies in that successful leaders are driven by a profound purpose to succeed – successful leaders’ cognitive process are inverse from most people. Effective leaders think and act in the order of why they do what they do, how they do it, and what they do, while most of us transpose the sequence of thought. Interestingly, executives of charities are the first people that come to mind when I think of people who do what they do because of a deep sense of motivation to fulfill their cause – they have no regard of money or fame, charities function in congruence with the golden circle. However, charitable organizations have not been [relatively] groundbreaking and have not fulfilled their cause at a global level. Personally, I believe in the golden circle, and I do not believe that it is habitually inapplicable to charities. With this in mind, I am convinced that financial, structural, and social adjustments to the nonprofit sector could revolutionize charities’ performances.

5 Aerospace Sector Market Trends Aiming to Pump Positive Growth

What does the aerospace sector plan to offer? In the recent time, the rapid level of modernization and the technological boom has opened gates for emerging and evolving trends which will continue to impact growth in the upcoming years. Let us analyze the striking aerospace sector market trends which are gaining momentum to transform the look of this industry.

Continued Technological Advancement

Presently, the customer demand is pushed due to the radical improvements in advanced avionics, operating efficiency as well as noise reduction capabilities and striking interior cabin designs. However, the wider use of composites, conversion to new electrical systems and progressive manufacturing technology requirements are working to rapidly change the method in which aircraft are manufactured. As a proof, advanced platforms are already in progress which includes- the A320 neo and Boeing’s 787. Moreover, the future staging might also offer 737 MAX, the A330 neo, the 777x and Bombardier’s C-Series.

Robust Replacement Demand

Looking at the mature markets of the aerospace sector, the growing demand from airlines as well as fleet operators for an advance generation comprising more technologically advanced, fuel-efficient aircraft, has shifted the focus on replacing older fleets. It is estimated that, in the next 20 years, around 40% of all the fresh aircraft deliveries would be only for replacement purposes.

Tilting Supply and Demand Balance

There had been serious concerns regarding oversupplying of the market by the OEMs, however, evidence indicates that supply and demand might be balanced soon. Moreover, according to forecasts until 2020, there is a significant increase in build rates, with seat deliveries expected to outrun demand for air travel. Since the OEMs are likely to deliver seats at a rate close to 8% to 9% of the active fleet, the various airlines are expected to swap about 2.5% to 3% of their mounted capacity while fresh growth is expected to rest at around 5% of capacity, thus creating an oversupply of 1% to 2% of the active fleet. According to global aerospace sector industry analysis, Boeing and Airbus will measure back announced build-rates, especially in the wide-body sector, due to continued weakness in global economies, braking in global air traffic and low oil prices.

Lower Oil Prices Swaying Both Demand and Growth

It is no surprise that the persistent level of lower oil prices active since late 2014 has stimulated airline profitability. However, the industry analysts are wondering if the sustained depressed levels will displeasure short-term replacement demand primarily for the next generation aircraft. While long-run expectations have dropped dramatically, there are several signs of its influence on the active fleet, that is, there have been few signs of different airlines interested in the higher application of older generation aircraft, as per latest airline fleet schedules. On the same ground, it is broadly believed that lower oil prices will cause higher growth in air traffic since fuel savings decipher into lower fares.

Constant Gratitude of the U.S. Dollar

The aerospace sector is quite thankful towards the currency strength of the U.S. dollar. Since June 2014, the valued of the greenback has increased 20% in comparison to the currencies of the U.S.’s major trading partners. Moreover, it has also risen more than 50% in contrast to emerging-market currencies such as Russia and Brazil. Looking at the current trends, as the U.S. dollar acquires power, it will continue to develop challenges for non-U.S. players and small fluctuations in short-term rates might reduce demand.

Conclusion

The aerospace sector is growing every day, be it in terms of technology or market network. The inclusion of hybrid versions as well as massive jets are being considered and might soon be introduced to become a part of this thriving sector. The above-mentioned trends are shaping this sector to become more stable & flexible. It is a great insight for the readers to understand these points, as it enlightens them about the vibrant world of aerospace on a thicker canvas.

The Route to Winning Public Sector Contracts

So you’ve found the perfect public sector contract and you know that you’re company is able to deliver exactly what the purchaser is looking for, where do you go from there? Well the next step is to start the application process, but there are a number of different routes that a public sector tender application can take. Your first task therefore is to read the tender description carefully as it should always detail the exact requirements of the tender process and the deadlines that you will be expected to meet in completing your tender bid.

One of the common routes that you may have to take is to complete a PQQ which is a Pre Qualification Questionnaire. A standard PQQ will provide some in depth information about the contract and about the requirements of the PQQ, although this may feel like repeating information that you have already read (hence deciding to complete the PQQ) you may just pick up some important detail that could help your submission, so take your time and read it thoroughly. Once you’ve read all of the background information you will then be required to provide some basic general information about your company, its legal status and details of any potential conflicts of interest. The next section will ordinarily concern financial matters including banking arrangements and insurance details, and you will then be required to provide details of contractual matters. This means declaring if you have had any contracts terminated or if you have any legal proceedings in place or pending. And finally, you will be required to provide details of your technical and or professional ability to complete the work specified in the tender notice.

Another route which some organisations prefer to use is to complete a smaller version of the PQQ, which may just ask you to answer yes or no type answers to a list of questions within each of the main headings found in a full PQQ. For example;

– Does your organisation have an environmental policy?
– What is the largest size of contract that you have previously fulfilled?
– How many employees are there in your organisation?

From the completion of this smaller questionnaire public sector buyers are able to create a shortlist of suppliers that they consider eligible and suitable to complete the tender contract. If you reach this shortlist you may then be asked to complete a full PQQ, or alternatively a full tender proposal, which would also be the next step for suppliers shortlisted from a completed PQQ.

A full tender proposal requires you to write in detail about exactly how you can complete the contract in terms of resource, employee and technical capacity. You should also aim to provide a full project plan which specifies timelines, costs, named leads within your organisation and the processes in place to ensure risk avoidance and monitoring. Finally, your proposal should also provide examples of successes your company has already achieved, particularly if they are within the same field as the work you are writing your tender bid for.

Whichever route your tender journey takes, if you provide detailed information that meets or even exceeds the buyers expectations you will be in with a very good chance of winning that tender; and it doesn’t always come down to the best price.

Data Sharing in the UK Public Sector, the Norm or the Exception?

Since I last wrote about data sharing in the public sector there has been a lot of interest about the growing volumes of personal data all organisations are accumulating. In the private sector customer data is treasured, analysed and reused (with the customer’s permission of course). Companies talk of Big Data and hail it as ‘the next big thing’. Follow #bigdata or Google it and you will see the bold claims that are made for this new era.

But what about the public sector? We still hear of councils and other public sector organisations resolutely pronouncing that they can’t share data because the law prohibits them. When I wrote the first article in August 2012 I set out what I thought was the most challenging of the 4 barriers to successful data sharing. Just to recap these were:

  • Legal
  • Cultural
  • Organisational
  • Technical

The most challenging? Culture, people just don’t want to change and will use the other 3 to support this. But we all know that the technology can do whatever we want it to do, so people tend to hang on to the ‘we can’t share because the law says so’ argument but cannot really back it up when challenged.

So it was a great relief when Dame Caldicott produced her second report earlier in the year ‘Information, to share or not to share’ and started to deconstruct some of the ‘myths’ but perhaps more importantly suggested that culturally we should move towards ‘how we can’ and move away from ‘why we can’t’

Dame Caldicott added a seventh principle to the six she established in her first review in 1997

The duty to share information can be as important as the duty to protect patient confidentiality.

This seventh principle was added in response to the growing concern that in healthcare at least, barriers were being erected that were putting patients at risk.

So if our colleagues in healthcare ‘get it’ what about the other public sectors? One recent case brought to my attention is the DVLA’s information about registered keepers of motor vehicles. As part of the Civil Enforcement process (parking tickets to the everyday person) local authorities can request details of registered keepers from DVLA so that they can serve a Notice to Owner (NTO) when a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) remains unpaid.

For the moment let’s not comment on the 20% of cars that have outstanding PCNs that have no registered keeper, or the most recent revelation that some drivers are still driving despite having amassed 42 penalty points http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-23967547 and focus on what happens to the information provided by the DVLA.

The DVLA contend that information supplied by them to local authorities for the purpose of Civil Enforcement of PCNs cannot be used by the authority for other purposes. This may be true, so for example routinely adding this data to a ‘citizen’s index’ might be unlawful. For example, a matching of unpaid PCN information to Blue Badges issued (an exercise that has routinely produced some interesting results and successful prosecution for fraud, would appear to be unlawful as the data supplied by the DVLA was being used for a purpose other than the one it was registered for. As yet I haven’t seen if a registration under the Data Protection Act for DVLA supplied data would be acceptable to the ICO.

But what isn’t unlawful is to use the other information that the local authority holds to trace people who have not paid their PCNs. In a recent study I was involved in, of the 9,000 unpaid PCNs that had been returned ‘Gone Away’ over 1/3rd of those people still lived within the council area and of those, over 1,000 were in council owned housing. So some part of the council knew where the person was, but not the Parking Services people who were using out of date DVLA information.

Sharing data between services in the council netted another £200,000 of unpaid PCNs. Despite the emotive talk of ‘cash cows’ that often accompanies any discussion on parking, I think most would agree that it is beholden on councils to use whatever information they have to maximise their income and reduce administration costs. After all, collection rates for PCNs hover around 75% which is probably the lowest collection rate of anything local and central government collects, so there is ample room for improvement. Strange how the media interest in this subject never brings out the poor collection rates, but that’s another story.

Returning to the topic of Big Data, most commercial organisations are beginning to tune into the value and importance of this to future customer satisfaction and retention. Local councils are just beginning to grasp this concept and re-evaluate the way they have implemented CRM systems. The initial use as a ‘front office’ system to manage and monitor phone calls is now giving way to more elaborate systems that can tell the council what its customers actually want.

Be this from self-service web based system or face to face and telephone contact, modern systems can now identify exactly what customers want and provide empirical evidence to enable the council to plan future service delivery. The current push by the public sector to provide services that are ‘digital by default’ offers the potential for significant cost savings, but, providing self-service intelligent forms on the web site is only part of the story.

If councils are going to weather the current ‘austerity storm’ chances are they will have to STOP doing some of the things they are currently doing. Enabling self-service can just provide ‘mess for less’ rather than truly transform services.

Without the relevant data, and implicitly the sharing of data, how will local authorities plan to deliver what their customers want, AND dynamically change this as requirements change? Or will they just use the trusted methods of Citizen Surveys back up by some good old Mosaic demographics data?

One recent development that may further the debate is the changes to the Freedom of Information Act that came into effect on 1st September 2013. These changes allow individuals and organisations to demand data sets from local councils in a re-usable format. Although this data is anonymised the fact that the data can be re-used may bring about a glut of FOI requests in the next few months. The changes also allow the local council to charge for the supply of this re-usable data, so this might well fuel the ‘cash cow’ argument, or further the debate about data sharing.

I suspect this debate will continue for the next few years and there will be many barriers to overcome until we achieve what Dame Caldicott so eloquently expressed.

The duty to share information can be as important as the duty to protect patient confidentiality

Growth Drivers For Real Estate Sector

Losses of industry players were capped by the timely intervention of RBI, which increased the interest rate since 2006. The sector continues to remains unsteady. However, driven by the global economic recovery and macro-economic and sector-specific factors, experts believe that capital will start flowing in this sector. Besides global economic recovery, the following are the indicators of this sector’s growth in the near future:

Industry experts estimate that by 2010, Indian IT and ITES sector will need approximately 150 million square feet of official space.

Growth in organized retail sector will provide significant boost to commercial real estate sector, which is expected to demand 220 million sq ft of additional commercial space across tier-I and tier-II cities.

According to the Tenth Five Year Plan of the government, there is a shortage of approximately 22 million residential units and over the medium and long term around 90 million dwelling units will have to be constructed especially for middle and lower income families. Housing Development & Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL) and the Mumbai Metropolitan Development Authority (MMRDA), together plan to build a residential-cum-commercial complex in Virar, a suburb of Mumbai at a cost of around $1.49 billion.

Introduction of REMFs (Real Estate Mutual Funds) and REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) will definitely have a major impact on realty sector by helping players for price determination. As per CRISIL, REITs has the potential to reach the size of $1400 billion in next 3 years.

The following section has some of the new projects expected to be undertaken by private realty developers:

* Tata Housing Development Company is expected to build around 1300 low-cost residential units at Boisar, 100km from Mumbai

* Atlas Group plans to diversify into Indian real estate sector and invest $201.51 million in Kerala over the next years

* Tata Realty and Infrastructure (TRIL) will invest approximately $4.2 billion for building SEZs, roads and other core sector projects

* All major realty players including DLF, Unitech and HDIL have big housing projects lined up for marked-down properties

* Avinash Bhosale Group (ABIL) will invest $126.25 million across Pune, Nagpur and Mumbai for developing 5-star hotels

* Marriott International plans to open 24 new properties in India over the next three years

* Cinepolis, a Mexican global multiplex operator plans to invest around $357.7 million in India and open 500 movie screens in the next 7 years for its film exhibition business.