It was discussed at the Gaidar Forum on how regions should create new management teams during pandemic and other emergencies
Staff for the regions of Russia or the people the country needs in an era of rapid change has become a key theme of the Gaidar Forum. It is worth noting that a person from Tatarstan – the former Prime Minister of Dagestan and Acting Governor of Mordovia Artyom Zdunov – participated in the discussion. Our republic recently sent its best minds to different levels of power. This is why the choice of the expert is quite logical. Zdunov and his colleagues – the Prime Minister of Bashkortostan and head of Sevastopol – explained how two once-conservative areas – education and public administration – must change rapidly during the pandemic. The speakers shared their recipes for effectively building teams of managers: Zdunov prefers “physicists” to “lyricists”, while the Bashkir Prime Minister likes an environment of “old school” and “fresh blood”. Read more in Realnoe Vremya’s report.
Education and public administration had to change
At the Gaidar Forum, Acting Mordovian leader from Tatarstan Artyom Zdunov (ex-Prime Minister of Dagestan and former Minister of Economy of Tatarstan) with his colleagues the Prime Minister of Bashkortostan and the leader of Sevastopol discussed how the pandemic has changed the way and style of public administration and how to prepare new staff for it now.
As moderator Alexey Komissarov, Vice-Rector of RANEPA, General Manager of Russia – Land of Opportunities ANO, noted at the start of the discussion, education itself has seen significant changes in 2020, although it ‘is one of the most conservative areas (it doesn’t change quickly like the others, always “with a little delay”). And these changes are still happening, because it is too early to talk about the end of the pandemic.
Mikhail Razvozhayev, Governor of Sevastopol (he delivered a speech online) noted that it was impossible to meet the challenges caused by the pandemic according to models (quick decisions were needed), although public service like education or also a conservative environment, “strictly regulated.” Decisions had to be taken quickly and their responsibility had to be assumed at all levels of public administration: from the federal to the municipal. in two previously existing management paradigms: either centralism when all responsibility remains in Moscow, or the transfer of responsibility only to lower levels.
What regions should do if Moscow and Petersburg get the best specialists
Artyom Zdunov, who is the interim leader of the Republic of Mordovia, noted at the same time that even a very experienced manager is unable to govern effectively and keep up with changes – a hard-to-build team is needed:
“I know this from my experience in Dagestan, even though the region is not the easiest for creating teams. Team is about trust in people, while trust is built over time. Someone easily joins a team, others don’t. The processes have recently accelerated and the external environment makes it possible to work faster. And project teams need to be created faster. And the main obstacle is that – and any region will confirm it – the centrifugal forces around Moscow, Petersburg attract the best specialists (it has always been so: both in Tsarist Russia and in Soviet times) .
What should the regions do? Zdunov believes that it is necessary to train future staff by mixing specialists at regional, federal and municipal levels among themselves. City workers are especially important, they often separate themselves from other levels of power by creating ready teams and projects and simultaneously stay up to date.
So today there is a pretty high demand for managers who would be good in health care, medical supplies. And not only the companies but also the authorities who oversee such a company now, the watchdogs need such people. At the same time, the education that an experienced manager has received doesn’t really matter.
“In Mordovia, for example, we have the World of Flowers company, Aleksandr Boldyryov has chaired it for more than 15 years, he graduated in agriculture. There is the Chamzinskaya poultry farm, it is a rival of Miratorg, a former professor of the history of the countryside runs it, he has managed to improve skills, to create a team. At the same time, there is a paradox. For example, Dagestan and Mordovia have unemployment, but at the same time companies lack skilled labor. There is a biochemist company, it needs more than 100 workers. We have to motivate people to go and work there. The same is true for the Agro-industrial Complex. Incentives are needed to work 20 km from the city, ”Zdunov thinks.
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Artyom Zdunov also paid attention to another problem posed by the pandemic and mobility bans: an exodus of foreign labor (migrants), which has hit the construction sector hard, some companies in the sector have vacancies and there is “no one to work”. If this shortage is not filled today by the Russians themselves, the construction sector may suffer badly.
The acting leader of Mordovia himself admitted to answering the question of how he created an effective team that “it pays to hire experienced people and people with engineering degrees”, mathematicians or physicists diligent in practice.
“I have worked with such people in Tatarstan, Dagestan and Mordovia. If a person is good at machinery and science, he will also take care of management. Management is more of an art. During the pandemic, moreover, I had to learn how to handle incidents, respond quickly and receive feedback, ”the official said.
Bashkir prime minister prefers to mix experienced people with creative novices
Bashkortostan Prime Minister Andrey Nazarov, in turn, has always preferred mixed teams: including both experienced and older people and young but enterprising and creative people. Experienced people understand what to avoid and that “an initiative can be punished”, while those who quickly take up leadership positions, on the contrary, remain ambitious and know how to make new decisions to achieve quick goals.
“I tested it firsthand because I often moved from region to region, I always had to create a team of local and experienced people but at the same time they left a little time for work. I also included in the team those I brought with me from other regions, on the contrary they devote most of their time to work. In Bashkortostan, we established the Strategic Development Center a long time ago, we hired people through competition, both experts and people who can work effectively and creatively. As a result of the pandemic, they became more visible than others: they developed mind-blowing careers as talented war commanders, and people with the experience and skills to solve problems during the pandemic in practice. started to be seen immediately, ”Nazarov shared his observation.
The speaker cited the example of the construction of two hospitals for infectious diseases in Bashkortostan. Traditionally, only the design of a hospital takes a year, it is built for another 2 to 4 years. While the Bashkirs built one hospital on an area of 17,000 square meters in 55 days, the other was 16,000 square meters in 50 days. The solution was not a quick build but parallel processes.
“An exploit in the public service is a dangerous exploit because if it contains errors and violations, you will be punished. Public service is not a testing ground. An achievement must be well thought out. At the end of the day, we had parallel processes. The design, the construction, the licenses were simultaneous, not 100 but 1000 people of different professions worked on the sites ”, explained the Prime Minister of Bashkortostan.
“We will gradually move from ‘error is an enemy’ mode to ‘error is a friend’ mode “
Sergey Vorobyov, chairman and co-founder of the Ward Howell consultancy firm specializing in the research and development of managers, management teams and board members of Russian and international companies and public organizations, thinks that precisely the regions take up the challenge of the pandemic more effectively, in particular those regions of teams who know how to establish vertical and horizontal links at the same time, that is to say speak the same language.
According to him, an official cannot solve a really difficult problem, moreover, several difficult problems, he will have to create a regional team whose representatives can speak the same language and collectively make a decision in a situation. The problem is that the old public management system does not support and forgive the mistakes of officials (especially regional and municipal officials).
“Our system does not tolerate errors. “We will all be imprisoned! “But the mode of experimentation to which the pandemic has brought us is precisely characterized by a radical change of paradigms, we will gradually pass from the mode” error is an enemy “to mode” error is a friend “. These regional directors who find it interesting to learn turn out to be more efficient than the others: they have a lot of problems, not a lot of money and not everyone has oil, ”noted Vorobyov.
By Sergei Afanassiev. Photo: Vladimir Gerdo / ТАSS