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The job of a council Chief Executive...

by Greg Hayes


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The job of a council Chief Executive is increasingly complex with a demand on their time split between a range of priorities, including ensuring current operating performance; adapting the organisation for the future; engaging with the workforce; spending time with communities; interacting with stakeholders and partners; working with elected members; ceremonial duties… the list goes on. The multifaceted job is part of the appeal, its challenging, stimulating and hugely rewarding. The priorities will shift of course, but many Chief Execs say that current operating performance consumed the biggest share of their diaries. PwC’s Annual Global CEO Survey paints a similar picture and tells us that Chief Execs (multi sectors) want to spend more time evolving their organisations and strategies to meet future demands. It tells us that they are in fact spending 10% less time on reinventing for the future than they feel they should be, when balanced against driving current operational performance.

Given the manifestations of global megatrends, such as climate change or social instability, are upon us it is vital that leadership within authorities are adapting for the future. Chief Execs need help, from all levels within their organisations, to reimagine services and find new answers for new problems. Technological disruption such as the advent of generative AI has the potential to change the way we work and live, as well as provide solutions to some of the thorniest issues facing the sector. Sector collaboration is a huge advantage and you can expect to see increased collaboration with the private sector to tackle megatrends. Workforce strategies must ensure that staff are empowered to think differently, to embrace fundamental change and seek out the new opportunities that will inevitably come our way. Finding the right leadership team and energising them to drive this forward is key priority for any Chief Executive.

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