Day 118 – 8 July 2014
It was pouring this morning as I made my way across the car park at County Hall. I got in only to realise that I had left the speakers I needed for the presentation in the car. It started to thunder and so I decided to leave it until just before I needed them.
Just a quick point from yesterday – Norman noted that I had shaved off my beard even though I had been in a meeting with him for an hour the previous week. I’m always amazed at the observational powers of my team.
I started the day with a one-to-one with Don my boss followed by the Information Governance Group. We had a demonstration of the new corporate e-learning management system which I need to use to undertake some data protection training. I have a slot set aside later on this week.
We then went through an interesting (and comprehensive) report on the revision to the Local Government Transparency Code (which is issued to meet the Government’s desire to place more power into citizens’ hands to increase democratic accountability and make it easier for local people to contribute to the local decision making process and help shape public services). My view is that we should publish everything with the caveat that our data is complicated and not always easy to interpret. In this way the public will help us to drive up the quality of our data (which is often a reason given for us not to publish). There is a difference between my view and the corporate view and so further conversations are required. Big data anyone?
I had another two tier four managers to meet. Az is the Finance Manager for the Regeneration and Economic Development, Resources and Assistant Chief Executive service groupings. He coined the acronym REDRACE and I can see why. I’ve already met with several other Finance Managers and his role was very similar. He did point out though that the finance for ICT Services was the most complicated in his portfolio and RED was the most interesting. He enjoys dealing with different things and working in a large organisation means that there is always something new going on. Large organisations provide challenges in themselves, they have different characters and you can be one part, a cog working in a big machine.
Barry is the Lead Governance and Workforce Coordinator and provides advice and guidance for governing bodies in all sorts of educational establishments across the region. (It turns out that he is now a tier 5 manager and so I wasn’t sure whether I could speak to him but I persevered.) His team’s advice covers the whole range of issues that any human organisation can conjure. He opened my eyes to the fulfilling role of the school governor.
His reasons for coming into work were that he loves working with the people, problem solving, getting an answer and (of course) making a difference. He is a very amiable and I was glad that I stopped for a chat.
Learning points for today: It’s not a criticism it’s a desperate flailing around; If you want to achieve something you can either wait until you are ready or give it a go which will make you ready; a smile can be a lid on a scream; the local government procurement directory is good for propping up a projector; Durham has 3,500 school governors and; it is the people that make an organisation.
Today’s enjoyment rating 9/10 – lovely people.