A year of work in progress – day 90

Day 90 – 20 May 2014

This day has been a long time in coming. Number eight in my ten things I was going to achieve this year is to collaborate with another authority and over the last few months we have been working ever closer with our colleagues in Northumberland. Several years ago we worked on some plans to work collaboratively with the North East ICT Managers group and today that dream has taken another step towards becoming reality. Fingers crossed.

I had announced to the Durham team at the presentations over the last week that we are working with Northumberland County Council to look at a possible collaboration between the two ICT Services. Over the next six to eight months Neil, who is the senior ICT person there, will be leading on a project to look at the opportunities that we could take advantage of. Neil has already joined our Senior Leadership Team which means that we have two Neils now. That can only spell trouble.

This morning it was the time to make the announcement to the whole team in England’s most northerly county. It has already been announced in an internal document that the two authorities will be working together across ICT as well as HR and Legal and Democratic services and so it was not too much of a surprise. Neil and I had four sessions of half an hour each and the only room that was available was the chamber.

It is odd but these are not the best of places for communication. They are designed for debating and politics and are set up in a way that exudes authority and control. Rather than sit up in the Leader’s seat we stood down in the pit. Over 85% of the team came along which was excellent considering all the other things that were going on and Neil got to show off his new massive touch screen TV.

We have a lot in common with what is going on in Northumberland and this presents a great opportunity. The presentations went well and it is going to be a very interesting remainder of the year. It will be very exciting as well.

As it wasn’t raining I decided to cycle round to County Hall.

In the afternoon I drove (not cycled) down to Tanfield for one to ones with Steve and Bob.

Learning points for today: If you want to learn something, make a game of it; empowering means that sometimes you are going to have to deal with poor decisions; I’m not as fit as I thought I was (and I didn’t think I was very fit at all); attitude is a decision and; the lack of comments doesn’t mean there is no agreement.

Today’s enjoyment rating 9/10 – a long time coming.

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