Friday, 4 December 2009

It's all systems go at Socitm in the run up to the festivities......

I have had an interesting week, the travelling part of which began with a trip to the House of Lords to the annual PITCOM bash. The fact that the speaker was David (Lord to us) Putnam was certainly an attraction. It was a great meal with interesting people from all sectors. When David Putnam spoke you could have 'knocked me over with a feather' (as I think the saying goes) as he began by announcing that one of his 'all time heroes' was there. I was wondering which film director or actor was in the house, but no, he pointed to Jim Brookes (who? you're all saying). Apart from being a Socitm Consultant (which is incidental to the story) he played a crucial role in the formation of the JANET network, whose virtues Lord Putnam went on to extoll in detail. On Wednesday, in between various internal strategy and finance meetings, I test drove Webex ,an online meeting system, and it went really well (much to my surprise). I have not had the best experiences in the past with video conferences and online meetings but this is certainly giving me cause to rethink.

On Thurday it was our last board meeting of the year, and the last before our year end. The issues were clear although clarity does not equate to simplicity! However, the Society is fortunate to have such a great bunch of directors (bunch being the new collective noun for directors, or some may say it should be a 'dalliance of directors'? - but they'd be wrong) We covered a lot of ground under the efficient chairing of Steve P, followed by the equally efficient chairing of Jos C when Steve left to travel to the Socitm SW regional meeting.

Finances thoroughly gone over, buisness plans considered and future developments formulated we ended ahead of schedule (well before I thought we would finish anyway). As a result I had time for a stroll down to the Socitm / CITRA board meeting at London Bridge. Stimulating conversation, as ever, with David Clayden, a Socitm director from our third sector colleagues, and we did notice in the City that nearly all the buildings are number 1 - how does that work then?
For those who don't know CITRA are the third sector community within Socitm and a group with whom we are developing a number of synergies and common areas of interest. We now have representatives from the third sector on all major Socitm governance groups and they bring an awful lot to the party.

My next meeting, and no complaints about this one, was with a group of friends at the Cinnamon Club in Westminster. After too few hours sleep it is on an early train north for a meeting at Durham University Business School to meet with Colin Ashurst and Alison Freer. We are looking at some ideas around leadership models and training within the context of the transformation agenda and it served to act as confirmation of something we have begun to articulate, that 'tomorrow's organisation is unlikely to be delivered by yesterday's leadership' However, there are some real culture issues to address in terms of role expectations and organisational committment to support new leadership. More of this in future posts...And now I am sitting in the North East thinking that I can't really have a glass of wine yet....but probably will.

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