There was a real contrast between two of the meetings that I attended yesterday. At the ICT Services management meeting in the morning we had a dozen or so attendees. Each of them had a laptop or tablet with them and they were being used to take notes and share information throughout the meeting. In the afternoon I attended the Resources Management team where three of us out of eight were working directly with the technology.
Now you might expect that the ICT Services would be leading the way with gadgets and tech toys. You would be right yet there was nothing fancy on display, just standard issue kit. The fact that everyone was using tech was a story but not a particularly interesting one. The real interest lay in the other meeting.
Go back just over a year and there was no one using a device during the meeting. It was all done on paper. For some time there was only me, then Paul and now Colette. I should lead the way. This is my domain and I was aware that Paul had been interested in adopting more agile practices for some time. It was Colette though that took me by surprise. She just rocked up, got out her laptop and carried on as if it was the most natural thing to do. It was.
These are the green shoots that are turning into fully fledged ideas and cultural change that I find so exciting. How long will it be until we all have the tools with us?
[As an aside I can’t find any explanation of what comes after the green shoots appear but did find this amusing explanation on www.davemanual.com. ‘Imagine that you walked into your backyard with a flamethrower and set fire to your lawn. Imagine that when you were done, all of your grass was black and dead. Now, after a couple of weeks, you start to notice that green shoots of grass are sprouting out of the dead and black landscape. Think of your dead lawn as the economy. Think of the flamethrower as the recession. Think of the green shoots of grass as the beginnings of economic growth. You can’t have a green and lush backyard without first having some green shoots of grass.’]
This morning was another example. I held the latest session as part of the Durham Manager Programme which is a series of learning events that people can tap into. My contribution has been to give some life hacks, tips and tricks to improve our own desktop efficiency. It goes under the banner of ‘Driving the desktop’. So many of us use our desk top applications ineffectively not because we are bad at what we do but just because we are not aware of those tricks that can help speed up what we do.
The session shows some cool things that I have picked up on the way and quite often the audience chips in with some they have discovered.
The difference this morning was that half the group brought laptops with them and were able to follow what I was showing them as it happened. At the last session, which was over half a year ago no one brought one. This morning the rest were able to buddy up and get a much improved learning experience.
Green shoots all-round?