I could not help but just read this disbelievingly. I quote a horrible example
They all seemed to agree that there was too much “change at the top” in government with the machinery “in constant turmoil” and, as Sir John put it, “the most colossal risks are taken, absolutely walking off the edge of a cliff”. The trouble is that there is often a conflict between good management and politics – and few ministers have any experience of management.
Sir Richard, once the top official at the Ministry of Defence, had a corker of an example.“I remember, without giving names” – pity, that – “a secretary of state for defence where I was explaining to him that he was now responsible for a budget of £30bn and 400,000 people,” said Sir Richard. “He began to go a little bit, sort of ... green and he said in a very charming way: ‘But the largest number of people I have ever managed is three.’ I said to him – I am not being funny about this – ‘That is not a problem. We have a system here that will ensure that you can run the MoD. You will be responsible for a top team of 10, 15 or 20 people but you are not required to manage 400,000 people and £30bn. I am required to manage £30bn on your behalf’.’