A year of work in progress – day 205

Day 205 – 28 November 2014

Black Friday turned out to be grey. Low cloud tuned to fog and gave the day a depressing start. When did this happen? Not the weather but when did a day that marked the point that American businesses moved from being in the red to making a profit and a day after Thanksgiving became a significant event in our retailing calendar. Pictures on the news showed how it brings out the finer side of human nature.

I had a day of one to ones and a presentation.

I met with Tony first in the Room for Improvement (RFI). The Digital Durham programme continues to go well. It turns out the Trimdon event has generated some good take up and our figures overall are tracking better than we had first thought. All that effort (not mine) is paying off. He also told me about his trip to Carlisle for a regional Broadband Delivery UK event. We are held in high esteem as the note he received would suggest ‘it (the event) would not have been the same event without your slot, superb as ever. The right blend of info, humour and fact. It broke up the same old BDUK stuff. More about the programme next week.

After that I attended the annual general meeting of Service Direct Newco Limited of which I am a Director.

The presentations for this round started later than normal. We only just got to start in November. Nobody notice though as the end of the year is just around the corner. They started in Meadowfield which reflects the shift in the way that our business is delivered. Once it was County Hall that was the beating heart of our operation and now it’s headed south.

Lee was helping me this time. I like to spread the love and felt that the subject matter was more up his street. He covered what is happening with the County Durham Housing Group as well as the work with Northumberland. I started off with showing the Dynamites award and then followed with the last in our series of guide rails, something we developed with OnBrand Partners a year and a half ago. Our final one was to ‘try and put ourselves in their position’, the thinking being that we should be sympathetic to the way our customers may be feeling.

I showed the video Empathy: The Human Connection to Patient Care. You can see it on YouTube and shows how people we meet in our daily activities all have other things on their minds that may impinge upon the way they interact with us. The video is a little long but very effective. You’ll need a hanky mind.

I then covered what our thinking is with regards to the Office Accommodation programme and the huge role ICT is going to play. There is some irony in that our own service is very agile. I see my team in all sorts of places. They say that everywhere you go you meet a Geordie. I don’t know about that but you certainly meet some from ICT.

I gave out some induction certificates to our apprentices and handed out the medals for the ICT Quiz that was held back in Customer Service Week. Meadowfield were second runners up!

Learning points for today: They would have been even more impressed had they seen it; root and branch is now known as a RAB; people always send you stuff for a reason and; it’s not about the winning it’s about taking part except when you win.

Today’s enjoyment rating 8/10 – not a black Friday at all.

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