Friday, 23 October 2009

My week (or bits of it at least)

Mon 19th Another early start, that 5.56 from Darlington is my second home....sandwiched between the Bloomsbury Park hotel, which is my first home and ‘home’ which is where my wife lives! The first meeting, and thanks to Intellect for their continued support of Socitm through the use of their facilities ( ), was to cover the final details, where,as we know, the devil lives, around the new Socitm web site whose launch is imminent. As ever, whilst the technology is largely in place there are still areas around wording, branding and general appearance that are in need of attention. However, we will see the new site this year! This was followed by meetings with Intellect at which we explored how best to develop the relationship we have in order to offer more benefit to both organisations and their respective members and then a catch with Martin Ferguson.

Tues 20th Following a recent soire at the Irish embassy I had a follow up meeting with Enterprise Ireland. It was a very constructive meeting during which we explored ways in which Socitm could perhaps play a part in bringing innovative companies and solutions to the attention of our members, particularly those solutions that come with recomendations of work well done from one or more of our memebrship. There is certainly a part the Society could play to ensure that SME’s get a fair crack of the whip when procurement time comes around. This is particularly relevent when the projects are smaller and/or require agliity, personal relationship and flexibility. We agreed that discssions with EI , who are members, should continue as the relationship is likely to offer mutual benefit.

Wed 21st It’s back on the early train for a commercial board meeting where we hopefully ensure that the Society is on track in terms of its business planning, future projections and revenue generation. The board covered a broad range of topics with a particularly useful discussion around ‘harmonizing’ the Consulting and Insight workstreams and messages and ensuring that there are strong linkages between our policy initiatives and the Socitm Futures programme. We also emphasised the message that the Council of the Future initiative sits withing the broader policy concept of ‘Tomorrows public service organisation’ and that this would develop in time to cover a range of ‘of the future’ programmes, probably in collaboration with appropriate partner organisations. It was also suggested, to the general agreement of the group, that an ‘environmental audit’ is something the Society would benefit from. This is not the green agenda raising its head in the workings of the Society (nothing wrong if it did, this just isn’t it) but the thought of auditing the general policy and technology environment in which we operate and identifying linkages, dependencies, risks and change consequences across all significant areas.

The end of the week sees me in Northampton with the office staff and corporate services team. This is the group whose job it is to ensure the smooth running of all infrastructure and administrative areas of the Society. OK, it may not be the sexy end of things, but try running an organisation without it. The staff are brilliant as they seem to squeeze more minutes into an hour and hours into a day than should be possible. We are building a great team which is good to be part of and it really is a foundation for future plans. Now, the thorny topic of the new Socitm website (i have seen it referred to as the ‘mythical new web site’ and the ‘website in the cloud(s)’ ) did consume a minute or two of our discussions. Those of you who visited our stand #socitm09 may well have seen it up and running and we are now in the final stages of tying down some of the thornier issues of integration with the back office (thanks again to the internal team, Gold Vision and Jadu )....and have we found the devil in some of that detail! But, it will be live, integrated and running before the end of the year , honest guv.

I am sitting on the train catching up with e mails and following #lgclincoln where there is some good stuff happening which I am about to retweet.

Happy weekends, sunny at the moment so may even get my motorbike aired for the last time this year, being of a fair and warm weather persuasion.

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