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Banging on doors is not enough

Andrew Baxter

Financial Times

16 September 2010

PA Consulting Group experts Colm Reilly and Neil Amos are quoted in an article in the Financial Times on the challenges faced by public sector workers transitioning into the commercial world, and how these challenges can be surmounted.

Colm Reilly, head of government at PA Consulting Group says that, with the right talents, the transition from public to private sector should not be a problem. Colm comments that, in PA’s experience, there have been no problems with new recruits in terms of their functional capabilities. Colm says: "It’s how these capabilities are exploited that is very different between the two sectors, and that’s where most of the emphasis has to go. Most people in the public sector work under an obligation model, not under a profit and loss model or other model. It takes a while to get used to that, but the capability is there."

PA’s Neil Amos, a recruit from the public sector, who joined the firm 11 years ago and is now a member of PA’s management group says: "What I found difficult, and took me a while to adjust to, was the attitude to risk."

"There was a risk averse culture in the public sector, due to the scrutiny that decisions are under, while in the private sector there is more of a risk management culture."

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