Friday, 20 November 2009

And the week goes on....mean and lean, but does it work?

I started to write this update, then couldn't remember what I have been doing, or for that matter which day of the week it is. I'm not the only one who has those sort of 'moments' ....... Am I?

But it's all coming back. Tuesday afternoon and it was off to London to meet up with DH, our finance director to look at our (projected) year end results - well you'll just have to wait and see.... also, we are doing a lot of modeling to see what may be the the best structures for future membership and commercial developments. There is lots going on and it is easy to get caught up in the activity and lose sight of the reason for it all. We have been reminded a couple of times this week that it is all about focussing on our members, current and future, and if we forget that we're in the wrong organisation.
This got me to thinking about how much has changed in the last few months and how good it is to have a great team in place. Martin Ferguson, our Head of Policy has had a dramatic and positive impact in our drive to become a much more policy driven organisation and Ellen Jessett, our recently appointed Head of Membership, in less than a month, is having a similarly positve effect. That just leaves our about to be appointed Head of Business Relationships and Commercial Development to help us pay for it all. Insofar as Socitm succeeds in acheiving its objectives it will be because the MD has the fortune to 'stand on the shoulders of giants' (forgive the slight misquote of the saying). 
Moving on, Wednesday arrived containing a Commercial Board meeting, Intellect management group, meeting with our Consulting senior team followed by a stimulating dinner and discussion at the House of Lords. We were regaled with the virtues of 'lean thinking' (and action). I don't think I misheard, but lean is the saviour of the known world and certainly of every future crisis. OK , perhaps that comment was tinged with a little sarcasm. It really was a good evening and lean does seem to have some important and effective outputs. It certainly may have an important place in the panoply of potentially useful possibilities that could probably contribute to some transformational change within and across organisations, Suitably stimulated I set off home (for home read 'hotel') through Trafalgar Sq where there were fireworks and Algerians - lots of both.
On Thursday, although I had intended goingb to an Insight KPI workshop I had to take the opportunity to carry on ploughing through paperwork and catching up on reports. Martin Ferguson and I met in the afternoon to review the first six months of our new policy focus and the progress of Socitm Futures, all of which was extremely positive and looking good for the future. Leaving that meeting I strolled down through the West End and along Oxford Stree..where I have to say I was completely underwhelmed by the lights, hmmmm

However, turning down Argyle Street and onto Carnaby St.....
and it was,  well, different, but better.

Following my wandering I met with our new Head of Commercial etc etc (long title) and had a great evening ironing out a few details but, most importantly, being given a very high level of confidence that this was going to work.

The weekend beckons once again, but first, this morning it is off to Wesminster for the Socitm Events team meeting and the 'Edinburgh post mortem'. All of the reports indicate that Edinburgh was a successful conference on every level - not perfect because we can always improve. The interesting meetings regarding our events will come in the new year and focus upon how we need to improve in an increasingly difficult and crowded marketplace. There are lots of ideas......

In case you are wondering (I know you weren't) this year's Graham Williamson Challenge winner, Scott Mansfield, is busy planning his Australia trip and we will be featuring all the action from Oz in 2010...

Mr Van who?...........And I have resisted the urge to let fly about 'the hand of Henri'....solidarity with the Irish for me on that one. However, if the concept of a decision being 'final', even when it can clearly shown to be wrong , was tansfered into other areas of life it would make for some very interesting and chaotic dealings.

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