May I warn you?


May I warn you?

A few years ago a city manager asked me: “Henk, if you appoint the wrong people, is that related to integrity?” I replied in the affirmative. People who are not fit for a function cost society a lot of money, don’t provide solutions and irritate employees. That damage cannot be justified. Careless appointments happen due to the old boys network mechanism, bad screening or not taking signals from the organisation seriously. The damage occurs later. Because policymakers are involved a thorough analysis how this was possible does not take place. I recently heard of the appointment of an interim manager by a public organisation. I know the person who was appointed and from reliable sources I know about his inadequate performance and disappointed working results. There are also doubts about his behaviour.

Difficult dilemma

This appointment in a familiar organization gives me the next dilemma: Should or shouldn’t I inform the organisation about my concern? The arguments not to do are, among other things: ‘It’s not my business’ and ‘I submit myself to gossip’. Moreover, I can damage the person. But I keep doubting, because we are talking about public money and it’s well known that some interim managers jump from one failure to another without anyone realizing. I weigh the damage which can be inflicted on the person to the damage which can be inflicted on the organisation. This situation keeps me pretty occupied. This is another reason to take a decision.

Very soon I will meet the director of the organisation, whom I have worked together with. I‘ll take him into confidence and share my concern. He can then decide himself if my information is relevant or not.

Henk Bruning