A year of work in progress – day 190

Day 190 – 5 November 2014

A had a lot of time to think about yesterday on the train home. It was a long day. Usually it’s the next day that you suffer and I must admit to being tired when I got up this morning. Some of the sessions in the afternoon have got me thinking, especially about our (or my own) approach to digital.

For me the best speaker (by a country mile) was Bill from Specsavers. He was inspirational even if he didn’t carry any passengers. He was speaking to me when he said that digital is the answer whatever the question and that I need to decide whether I am to be a thought leader or deliverer. I think I may be caught between two stools.

Digital needs to be our default DNA and we cannot rely upon personality to carry it through. Board sponsorship is critical and we must prepare for failure many times. We should be thinking about spending 25-30% of our total ICT spend on digital if we are being serious. Having a strategy that changes every three years is not good enough. Every three months would be better but every twenty four hours may be what is needed. How will we keep up?

He summed up by saying that digital: is disruptive; is not modern; is front to back; breeds agile; breeds innovation and; once started can’t be stopped. If you get a chance to hear him, take it.

Make it matter. We are dealing in a market tailored to one.

It was total gridlock on the way to County Hall in Morpeth. It was nice not to have to drive down to Durham first thing. It took me five minutes to get there for a meeting with Neil and then our weekly Senior Leadership Team. We had a good long conversation about the relationship between the two teams and decided to change the meetings we have around a bit to get best use of our time. Three or four projects are underway. We’re moving forward yet need to get the balance between the tactical and the strategy. As leaders our job is to make sure the tactical gets done but to focus on the strategic planning.

We also had a look at the application map that Neil, Brain and I had a stab at last week. On reflection not everything that should have been in there was in the drawing. I need to have another go at it before I bring it back.

Afternoon it was back to Durham for Resources Management Team. I had no reports.

Learning points for today (though some of them are from yesterday): The most important thing I can do is to close the very big gap in digital understanding; success is defined by the customer; in the future we will be judged by how well we anticipate a crisis; soon we will have only five seconds to get our point across and; the right size team fits around a pizza.

Today’s enjoyment rating 7/10 – tired.

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