Day 123 – 15 July 2014
Last night I was at Stanley Area Action Partnership which confused me no end. The address for the meeting had changed but the location hadn’t. The Lamplight Theatre is now Stanley Civic Hall but apparently it was that way before. Brian gave a presentation on highway maintenance. He is one of the tier 4 managers I have met and so I knew everything that he was going to say. Turnout wasn’t great which suggests we are entering the holiday season.
Reegan looked a little glassy eyed when we said goodbye yesterday and so I offered him a choice this morning to go and spend some time in support or come around with me. He politely chose the former.
Do you remember how I’d read the book about Virginia Mason’s experiences in emulating the Toyota Production Model? It was called ‘Transforming Health Care’ and was worth the read. Anyway, we finally managed to meet up with some colleagues from Durham Constabulary who had also been interested in venturing along a similar path. The book had wet their appetite as well.
Each of us shared some examples of how things had gone well and where they had not and it became clear that there was a lot to learn from each other. The police had some good examples of sustainable change in their central ticket office and accident reporting while we described the work on the service desk and the desktop replacement programme. Improvements have tended to stick when they were self-contained, fairly small processes and were led by a manger who understood the thinking behind (so-called) lean.
Clearly what was needed was leadership from the very top of an organisation and this was self-evident from Virginia Mason’s experience. The question is though how to achieve this?
I was particularly interested in their crime prevention triangle. All crimes require a perpetrator, a victim and a location. The traditional approach has been to concentrate on dealing with the criminals but good success has been achieved by thinking about the other two sides to the triangle. It got me thinking about how we approach some of our own issues and whether there are another two sides to each story.
Through the conversation it became clear that the constabulary has been successful in teaching old dogs some new tricks. By getting people who could influence others on board they have created advocates and ambassadors for their change programme. We still have this contained within the senior leadership team and so this is an important lesson. We agreed to meet up again and include some of those who had embraced their methodology.
Andrew was my next tier 4 manager. He is a Principal Area Action Partnership Co-Ordinator and looks after Chester le street AAP as well as running five other managers remotely. He is a player manager. That gave us a good opportunity to talk about video conferencing, telephone conferencing and unified comms, all of which would help him enormously. I’ve known Andrew for a few years and we talked about how he enjoyed the buzz of the AAPs, the engagement with people and problem solving. Every day is different and he is never in his comfort zone.
After lunch Reegan and I went to Meadowfield to see how the move from County Hall has gone. It was looking great and will be even better when it’s finished.
Learning points for today: Omni-Channel Retailing (a new one on me) is the evolution of multi-channel retailing, but is concentrated more on a seamless approach to the consumer experience through all available shopping channels, i.e. mobile internet devices, computers, brick-and-mortar, television, radio, direct mail, catalogue and so on; you have to be quick if you want a scone; you can teach old dogs new tricks and; sometimes great ideas aren’t good.
Today’s enjoyment rating 9/10 – I enjoyed talking about change management and our optimisation programme again.