Managing in the Middle with Julie Nerney
Julie Nerney is one of the co-authors of “Own Your Day: New light on the mastery of managing in the middle". She’s worked at the heart of government and played a key leadership role in the London 2012 Olympics.
Graham and Julie start off the conversation by talking about how they met through Sussex Lions, the Aston Villa fanclub in Sussex. Graham then asks Julie how she would summarise her very diverse background.
> It is the common thread, through all the different types of roles and sectors. It’s about driving and securing change, but doing that in a way that’s got kindness and compassionate at its heart. So it’s about cultures. It’s about creating environments that allow people to excel.
Julie then talks about her experiences as Head of Transport Integration for the London 2012 Olympics.
> So I always say to people, it’s probably the thing I’ll be most proud of, because what a great showcase for the country. There was something optimistic and happy about that time, maybe there’s with rose-tinted glasses with the decade that’s come since then, but I never want to work like that again, in my life, because it was so utterly and relentlessly demanding.
The conversation than leads on to Julie’s time in central government and she talks about resisting the urge to slap a certain politician she had to have weekly meetings with as being up there as one of her biggest development challenges.
Graham and Julie then talks about how to deal with disagreements and the importance of productive tension and how to create that.
> So it’s kind of creating a permission environment but you have to contract around that, and you have to be overt about it. Because, otherwise people bring in their own preferences, their own motivations, their own kinds of things, and you don’t have a common goal to focus around.
Julie talks about her book “Own Your Day” co-written with Diana Marsland for people managing in the middle of organisations. She explains how Diana approached her with the idea of the book. And how she was convinced that the powerhouse in organisations was stuck between strategy and delivery, the demands from the top as well as trying to manage their teams, and how could we do stuff that liberates these people because that’s where the potential in organisations were.
Julie and Graham then finish the podcast talking about the culture in different organisations, hierarchy, networking and the importance of creating a culture of feedback in teams.
Brought to you by Graham Allcott of Beyond Busy