Shortly after revelations about a salary party at director level, Dagbladet can now tell about expensive coaching at the top of the Oslo school.
Dagbladet is aware that the Education Agency has spent NOK 2.5 million on leadership development and coaching since June 2019.
The coaching is based on American leadership principles and is called the Leadership Pipeline Institute (LPI). The philosophy is based on books by the American Steven Drotter.
Nesvik & Partners, run by Marita Nesvik, sells the services to the agency. Nesvik is the company’s only employee, and has a license agreement with LPI in Norway. She signed a framework agreement with the Education Agency in June 2019, shortly after Marte Gerhardsen took over the management of the agency from Astrid Søgnen.
In the crisis year 2020, the agency has so far spent 850,000 kroner on coaching from Nesvik, Dagbladet is informed.
The agency confirms the sum.
Fortune 500 – and Oslo municipality
LPI is used by several of the world’s largest companies, many of them on the Fortune 500 list in the United States.
«The Leadership Pipeline Institute specializes in helping organizations to build their own internal pipeline of qualified leaders, as well as creating a focus on decision-making authority, performance and implementation ability in the organizations.», LPI writes on its Norwegian website.
«The solutions are based on the latest global research and experiences from some of the world’s most successful companies», It continues.
Hallstein Bjercke in the Liberal Party believes the case is another example of poor judgment in the Oslo school’s administrative and political leadership.
– This is almost unbelievable, he says Dagbladet.
– Inga Marte Thorkildsen has in the city council shifted all responsibility to Marte Gerhardsen, a director who we again see has a complete lack of judgment. I must say that I am now genuinely concerned about the Oslo school, he continues.
– 2.5 million is little money in relation to the total budgets of the agency?
– The amount of money is not the whole problem. The problem is also the way Thorkildsen and Gerhardsen make choices and spend the Oslo school’s money. There is obviously good reason to ask questions about the administration of the Oslo school, says Bjercke.
One of the country’s authorities on management, Professor Bård Kuvaas at BI, tells Dagbladet that he has not heard of the Leadership Pipeline Institute.
– Very unfortunate
City council representative Espen Andreas Hasle (KrF) also dislikes what Dagbladet tells him.
– This fits into the pattern of an agency that is not conscious of spending money. It is very unfortunate, he says.
Hasle points to Dagbladet’s revelations about the salary party at director level in the agency, and is concerned that the Education Agency is now on a wild goose chase. In particular, he reacts to the fact that American business philosophy is used in the management of schools in Oslo.
– In American management research, it is believed that salary is the most important motivator, and that is controversial at best. I want leaders in the Oslo school who are motivated by making the world’s best school – not by their salary. I do not think that the agency uses resources to implement leadership training of the same model that large American companies use. It will probably give goal shifts for what the leaders in the school are concerned about, says Hasle to Dagbladet.
– They get the best prices
Marita Nesvik from Nesvik & Partners gained access to the Education Agency through a tender competition.
She explains to Dagbladet the philosophy she teaches to Marte Gerhardsen and the other directors in the Education Agency:
– The core of the Leadership Pipeline concept is that what is defined as good leadership varies with the leadership level. So there are many answers to what good leadership is, and LPI helps leaders understand what kind of leadership behavior is right for their leadership level. First-line managers should create values and results in a different way than those who lead managers, for example. LPI’s management programs are very practically oriented and are based on managers’ operational everyday life. We coach a very pragmatic understanding of the leadership role, says Nesvik.
Nesvik does not want to go into detail about which consulting services she has sold to the Education Agency.
– On a general basis, we deliver most services within leadership development and transition coaching, which help managers fulfill the role they have in the best possible way. Many leaders bring with them behaviors from their previous role that are not beneficial in the new role.
– You are the only employee and have invoiced the agency for 2.5 million. So the Oslo school is good business for you?
– I often draw on external resources as well, even though I am the only permanent employee in Nesvik & Partners. In general, I can say that the public sector always gets the best prices from us.
Nesvik emphasizes that she had never met Marte Gerhardsen before she won the tender competition in the Education Agency.
Marte Gerhardsen writes in an e-mail to Dagbladet that the Education Agency should spend as little as possible on consultants in the Education Agency and should prioritize building competence itself.
– In training and development of managers, we are in the process of building capacity, but it is not in place. That is why we have engaged a consultant in this phase. What is important is that our employees in the agency experience good, uniform management in all parts of the organization, and that the leaders receive support and training in being good leaders for their employees.
The pay party
The education agency is headed by Marte Gerhardsen. SV City Councilor Inga Marte Thorkildsen is politically responsible. The agency has ended up in bad weather after Dagbladet’s revelations about the salary party at director level.
Because while the teachers in the Oslo school are encouraged to have strong salary moderation, several principals have received large salary jumps, up to 140,000 kroner a year. This has garnered strong reactions, both politically and from many teachers in the Oslo school.
The cases meant that the agency this weekend changed the procedures for salary increases among the many directors.
The agency has recently also manned the top, and gone from 22 to 28 directors, despite promises to the contrary. The average salary for the directors is at least NOK 1.1 million.
Dagbladet recently reported that the Education Agency has also spent NOK 8 million on headhunters and consultants from Ernst & Young.
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