In January 2003, the Board of the Government Office for the North East commissioned a Leadership Programme for staff and Board members. This decision was prompted by a number of factors, including the perception of a gap in leadership skills in the organisation; a sense of disconnection between the Government Office and the stakeholders they served across the North East and an uncertainty over the future, as Central Government sought to devolve power to the Regions in new ways.
The challenges expressed by different people across the Government Office included:
- A traditional, hierarchical and bureaucratic culture that restricted empowerment and innovation
- A disconnection between the Board and others in the organisation – a sense of ‘them and us’