At The Boston Consulting Group we’re not satisfied unless we’re making something better. That is, in essence, what we do. Turn up at a client’s door, take a good hard look at their organisation and make some suggestions for how it might improve.
At least, that’s one half of it. Getting the ‘right answer’ is only the starting point. It’s the ticket out the gate. Then comes the really hard bit – getting sometimes hundreds, more often thousands, of people to change the way they work. To take a risk. To follow you into uncharted territory, away from what they’re used to, knowing all the while that those risks are there to be managed.
At BCG this is what we call ‘leadership’. It’s all about having the foresight and confidence to make change happen. And it is Frontline’s focus on installing these essential leadership skills that makes the two organisations such natural partners. At Frontline you’ll benefit from a leadership development programme designed to give you confidence to set out a vision for children and families. You’ll then work with other agencies, such as health professionals, teachers and the police, to deliver this change and manage risk.
And as well as being crucial to a career in social work, these leadership skills are, of course, transferable. They are valued by employers in the charity sector, policy-making units, international NGOs and, of course, in public and private sector consultancy firms.
Machiavelli said “there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institution and merely lukewarm defenders in those who gain by the new ones.”
But Machiavelli’s counsel for the chieftains of mediaeval Italy was not a plea for inertia but a summons to action. It was a cry for the key ingredient that makes change happen. Leadership is the art of bringing people with you; the science of doing the right thing in a world of trade-offs. It is the most important quality that our clients seek in us; that we seek in our recruits; and that Frontline seeks in theirs.
Some people dream of changing the world. Leaders get on and do it.