A year of work in progress – day 122

Day 122 – 14 July 2014

This week should be interesting. Way back in May I told the tale of how Bob Paton, MD of Accenture in the North East told us that if ever he is asked can he take someone on work experience he said yes and how, following his lead, I had offered work experience to a pupil to come and work alongside me. It seemed then to be something that was going to happen far enough in the future not to worry about but the future has a way of creeping up on you.

Today Reegan joined me and we will be together for the majority of the week. I had five meetings in a row from ten o’clock so that gave us a chance to get to know each other and to talk about the week ahead. Pam had rung round the people I was planning to meet to check that it was OK for him to join us and everyone was very accommodating. I also had to remember that he needed to break for lunch.

I gave him an introduction to what the council does and we talked about some very big numbers. I tried to get him to think about the services we offer and the problems that we were trying to address and we got quite far. I was quite surprised at the lack of understanding of what the council does but then I’m finding it difficult to remember what I was like when I was that age.

We talked about the kinds of jobs that are being advertised now and that very few of them existed five or ten years ago. What kind of skills are we going to require when Reegan comes out of his formal education? The world is changing so rapidly that our pupils will need to develop skills now for services that we haven’t thought of. That is scary for me and I guess so for Reegan as well.

I arranged for him to have a laptop so he could keep some note and asked him to find some information for me on University Technical Colleges (UTCs). Hopefully I’ll get some feedback by the end of the week.

During the course of the introduction I had let slip that my job was more to do with people than technology and sure enough my (our) first two meetings were about just that. Joanne and I talked about how we could make some improvements to the processes within her service and how the data coming out of her new regulatory services application was helping her to understand her business better and to challenge some assumptions. Andrew and I talked about the role of ICT in the North East, how the local authorities were going to play their part and the personal involvement that he would like.

After lunch we had a core group meeting to try and map the as-is and to-be positions for each service grouping. We talked about systems and functions and our language got in the way as sometimes it’s difficult to differentiate the two. We came to the conclusion that more work was required and agreed who would do what. My head was spinning and so must have poor Reegan’s but tomorrow is another day.

Learning points for today: You can play street snooker using a handball or football; highly configurable is the new overly complicated; we don’t have a beech booking system but we may need one; it’s amusing hearing people speak for you when that isn’t what you were saying and; young people have a lot to learn about the world of work.

Today’s enjoyment rating 8/10 – an interesting challenge having someone along with me.

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