Mediocre British Foreign Office has a culture of clones: Report

March 22nd, 2009 - 5:38 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Mar. 22 (ANI): The British Foreign Office has been severely criticized by management consultants as a mediocre institution which turns some of the country’’s brightest civil servants into clones. The 42-page report, written by the management consultant firm Courad, concluded that years of sub-standard senior management had reduced staff at one of the great Whitehall departments to misery. It (the FCO) recruits bright people brimming with independent thought but then proceeds, both intentionally and unintentionally, to apparently ”clone” them, The Scotsman quoted the review report, as saying. The FCO bosses had commissioned a review to get a grasp of the ”culture” of their office. It now appears they got a little more than they bargained for. It was genuinely striking that so many participants were very keen to tell us about what they saw as the institutional timidity of the Office. There is a cultural fear of failure, the report declared. The Foreign Office has come under criticism from other insiders in recent years, who have complained about its stultifying culture. The former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, who left the Foreign Office after falling out over his outspoken stance in the country, attacked the “classic public school and Oxbridge influenced FCO house style” as “ponderous, self-important and ineffective”. However, a FCO spokeswoman said: It has stimulated a lot of good debate in the FCO and raised a number of issues, including for example how we foster an attitude to risk that is responsible but best provides for ambition, creativity and innovation. (ANI)

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