Our thoughts are like trains on a track. They trundle along in whichever direction you send them. Backwards and forwards they go, trapped in their linear travels. They are very hard to stop are our runaway thoughts. Sometimes we come across a branch line, a quiet siding where we can let our thoughts and dreams wander but inevitably we will soon be back on the main line. But rail tracks aren’t always singular. Quite often they are in pairs or more, running parallel to each other. The thoughts on the other tracks get a different view of what you are thinking. Like an express train passing a local stopping train the passengers can get a fleeting view of each other. They can get a different perspective.
When I think about thinking, I imagine myself on a train. I wonder if my thoughts are trapped, destined to arrive at a predetermined point no matter how I struggle, at a point defined by the rails on which they are running. I think about what my thoughts would be like if I was on a parallel track, looking in through my window. Would they look any different? Do they change as I pass by? Is there a Doppler shift? Would I choose to make the daring leap from carriage to carriage? Would I dare to choose a new destination?
When I am on a train I think about the thoughts that I have and I wonder what the passengers are thinking. I wonder if they think about me. Of course they don’t.
I was on a train the other day. Off to London again, this time for a pitch. We’ve been shortlisted for an award by the Local Government Chronicle, a celebration of the best in local government in the Commissioning Pioneer category. We are one of nine entries in our category.
Keith, Susan and I made our way to their head office with our well-polished presentation on several laptops, a memory stick (unencrypted) and printed hard copies (naturally). Whatever happened to mailing it to them or putting it on a website somewhere? Technology is great. It allows us to do so many things that we could not do before but only if it is adopted. I was wearing a belt, some braces and had some string in my pocket just in case.
And why London? In the age of the video conference or the web cast and our shrinking global village, is it not about time to demonstrate our ability to deal with the world in ways that that our customers are expecting from us? I best not say anymore at this point as we are still in with a shout.
Our bid was on driving efficiency through transformation with the introduction of electronic payments to care providers. We divvied up the slides on the trip down. My three were on innovation and ambition, technology and the outcomes that we have achieved. In this age of austerity I made sure that I mentioned money. The improved efficiency the development generated has meant that cost has been taken out of the process but not just for the Council, for the providers as well. Less money for administration means that there is more money for care and after all that is why we came into this profession. Driving efficiencies means more social care.
The presentation went well and we went home with everything crossed.