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New shapes and sizes

Reshaping public-sector organisations for an age of austerity

New shapes and sizes



This report outlines how public bodies need to review their organisation design in response to impending budget cuts.

Given the looming government deficit, public bodies are likely to make major cuts in size (headcount), but it is important to also consider how this will affect shape (operating model). For example:

  • How can they cut headcount while avoiding the loss of core skills?
  • Are reactive cuts and so-called salami-slicing (uniform cuts with minimal prioritisation) going to deliver the necessary savings?
  • How can leaders use new structures and ways of working to respond to budgetary pressures more strategically?

Key findings

The research outlines some of the key benefits from resizing and reshaping public organisations, while also warning of the challenges and difficult questions that leaders will need to face. It highlights four examples of successful projects where Deloitte has helped public bodies to reshape in response to change.

This report is particularly relevant for all public sector leaders, including HR directors and those leading on strategy and transformation.

This is the first in a series of papers exploring the theme of ‘agility in an age of austerity’. Subsequent reports, to be published leading up to the next general election, will cover topics including lean techniques, leadership and localism.

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