Day 215 – 12 December 2014
Number nine on my list of ten things to achieve this year was to finish my book. Well technically this one is in the bag. I’ve finished it but haven’t published it. I keep meaning to read it through and am thinking of publishing it for the Kindle. I just haven’t got round to it and wonder if there is something holding me back (perhaps because it is no good). Does this count?
The book is called is called ‘Guerrilla Working’ and like all books these days has a sub-title ‘Make the most of your talent by breaking the link between where you work and what you do’. It is fifty eight thousand words long which makes it either a short book or a very long pamphlet. I’ve also written one hundred and twenty thousand words in this blog so far, however and so I could argue that I’ve achieved this one twice.
Today we had one of the three away days that we have planned with the Senior Leadership Team. We held it in the magnificent Town Hall in the centre of Durham. As is tradition now we all went for a festive lunch.
The restructure is coming to its conclusion and this means we have sorted the savings required up until March 2017. Anyone who has been following the news will know that this is not the end of our period of austerity yet we have a window of two years of relative stability ahead of us. We need to use this as an opportunity to set ourselves up to become the organisation we need to be for the next five years, hence the away days.
I started by trying to set the scene. Our market is changing very rapidly and it will only get worse or better depending upon your perspective. Our management structure has served us reasonably well to bring us to where we are but the future is going to be a whole new ball game. We are going to have less money and less resource but higher (or at least different) demand from both within our organisation and from our customers. There are going to be huge advances in technology, some of which we will not be able to imagine. Above all there will be an (uncontrollable) explosion in the amount of data in play.
This led to a useful discussion and I added to the list. I followed this with my thinking on the overall approach to business that we need to adopt, describing a leadership layer, a management layer and small teams of skilled individuals, or companies that can ebb and flow between our differing priorities. We also need to consider how we can turn resource on and off as demand peaks above our core ability which may lead us to playing a more commissioning role in future.
Clearly it is early days yet and there is a long way to go but we agreed the things that we needed to get on with which will set our stall out for our next meetings in January. I promised to type up the notes but I hope I can read them as my writing is getting much worse since I’ve stopped using a pen.
Learning points for today: There’s a juggling club in Durham; you can get catalytic jeans but not underpants as they need light to work; ‘tis the season of wasted storage and bandwidth and; Thai is not really Christmas food.
Today’s enjoyment rating 7/10 – a start but a long road ahead.