First, second and third sectors – the unrealised opportunities

The Progressive Managers Network exists to radically improve the quality of management.

It is designed for managers from:

  • the business private sector – which is ‘privately’ owned and profit motivated;
  • the public sector – owned by the state;
  • the social economy, or third sector, including a wide range of community, voluntary and not-for-profit activities.

Historically each of these sectors has formed its own ‘ghettoes’ of professional practice, development and learning.  This has led to stereotypes taking hold and low levels of trust and respect between the sectors.  Crudely speaking the stereotypes are:

  1. Private sector = cigar chomping ‘Thatcherite’ entrepreneurs who would sell their own granny and destroy the planet if the ‘return on capital’ is adequate – values and ethics subordinated in pursuit of profit.  Actively seek opportunities for exploitation (workers, environment, customers – but preferably all three) – in order to generate cash.
  2. Public sector = cardigan wearing bureaucrats pushing papers across desks until  they can collect their pensions.  Dull and uninspiring  at work they often have exciting outlets for their passions outside of office hours – such as bell-ringing or volunteering.
  3. Third sector = unreconstructed class war heroes, sandal wearing entrepreneurs, communitarian do-gooders with myopic spheres of interest, bicycles and brown rice.

The Network allows managers from all three sectors to learn together allows for ideas to be transferred from sector to sector and provides the opportunity for collaborations and partnerships to develop.

This matters because because increasingly large parts of a modern developed economy are driven by partnerships between public, private and third sectors.  Organisations that succeed will be those who learn best how to use these partnership to get things done.

So step out of your ghetto, set aside the stereotypes and get involved.

3 Responses

  1. I like the definitions. Made me smile anyway 😀

  2. Dear Sir,

    Need to be clear with the differentiation of the sectors with suitable illustration Please.


      The three sectors are not always neatly differentiated. However 1st sector = public sector = publically owned or state owned; example = local government, NHS etc
      2nd Sector = private sector = privately owned (although maybe publically listed) and usually run for profit example = Virgin, Amazon etc
      3rd sector = voluntary, charity, community owned businesses – usually run as not for profit distribution. Examples include RSPCA, NSPCC, etc

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