A year of work in progress – day 100

Day 100 – 4 June 2014

A hundred days and what have I achieved?

I picked up Neil A on the way into work this morning as it is management Wednesday and he lives in Cramlington. Finding one space at County Hall (Durham) is hard enough but finding two would be a miracle. We got there about twenty minutes later and ended up quite high on the wedding cake car park.

This morning was all about Sexy ICT. I had to nip out of the Senior Leadership Team meeting to present to the tier 4 managers group, or at least half of them.

When I was at Thinking Digital 14 there was a presentation from the people at Virgin Money who have a large office in the region. Actually, it was less of a presentation and more of one of those plenary sessions where three or four people sit at the front of an audience and pretend that they are having a conversation. They seem to be very popular now and not always effective.   I even forget what this session was about (see what I mean) but I do remember them saying that when Richard Branson took over Northern Rock to create Virgin Money he wanted to develop sexy banking.

What he meant by this was to identify new or repositioned services that would differentiate Virgin Money from the other high street banks. This meant thinking about all of the things that were on offer and identifying which bits were missing to create a sexy portfolio of services that would draw customers in.

Now whether you like Mr Branson or not you have to admire him and his words were an inspiration to me.   What applications, functions or service offerings to we lack to make our ICT as sexy as it could be?

So I had my presentation ready which included a potentially risqué video. I’d hummed and hawed about whether to show it or not as it had a naked bloke in it but it was funny and Lee finally persuaded me that it would be OK. I was following George, the Chief Executive who asked at the end of his slot what I was going to present.  ‘I’m going to do something on sexy ICT and you’ll have to stay if you want to know more’ I replied somewhat cheekily not expecting him to hang around.

But he decided to. ‘I’ll stay for a few minutes until I get bored’ he said. This was going to be a career defining moment. Fortunately it all went very well and George stayed until the end. I even got a round of applause. I’m coming back in tomorrow.

At SLT we had a review of the customer workshops that we had held over the last several months. Their main objective was to get people together to share experiences and develop relationships. They definitely achieved this. In addition we wanted the whole team to understand the ICT Strategy and this was less of a success. At least everyone has read it now and had a chance to comment. We agreed to think about what we are going to do next after we have drawn breath.

In the afternoon we had Resources Management Team. We got bogged down in mineral rights issues which was mind bending but a rich source of puns.

Learning points for today: I’m not as brave as I’d like to be; I’m braver than I should be; you need to just go for it; some problems are nice to have; big printers have a raster image processor and; blueberry muffins are nice.

Today’s enjoyment rating 9/10 – I’m expecting to still be here next week.

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