MoneyEver since I was elected a County Councillor I have been critical of Suffolk’s ASPIRE programme. This is a motivation tool aimed at the staff and the ASPIRE values are:

  • Achieve – We are the best we can be
  • Support – We work as one team
  • Pride – We take pride in and are proud of what we do
  • Inspire – We model the ASPIRE values
  • Respect – We give and earn respect
  • Empower – We empower, encourage and motivate people

I was especially critical of a poster proclaiming that the Council’s key achiever was a community psychologist who planned and co-ordinated conferences  and supported staff to learn and develop their skills alongside colleagues and services users. My success was to have the poster removed since I objected to staff seeing at least twice a day a poster telling them that they should achieve through the soft side of management rather than take on the hard choices of achieving more for less in the interest of the tax payers and residents at large.
Ideas like ASPIRE are like vampires. They never die unless they have metal stakes driven through the hearts. The posters are back again.

This time they read as follows:

  • A is for being Adaptable
  • S is for Embracing Digital (I know there appears to be an outbreak of alphabetical illiteracy and I couldn’t work it out either)
  • P is for Leading Change
  • I is for Agile Working
  • R is for Politically Aware
  • E is for Commercially Savvy

Apart from the last two (and I do applaud an officer who seeks to measure his operational efficiency against commercial benchmarks) the rest of the ASPIRE examples are a tad Ho Hum and if this is the best we can to do motivate staff, then it is time to follow the money and cut off the supply.

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