Another day, another award ceremony. This time it was our very own Great Staff Great stuff awards. It is an opportunity for us to celebrate all of the great work that goes on in the Council. It is very easy to knock what we do and just as easy to highlight the mistakes, the failures and the problems we have. So it was a pleasant change to be celebrating the good.
The room was filled with potential winners, their managers, councillors as well as sponsors. I was asked to sit on the sponsors’ table as several of them were technology suppliers. It was a very well organised and professional event.
Once again we didn’t win. Never mind, perhaps we are destined to be always the bridesmaid and never the bride. Of course everyone was a winner though. It’s the taking part that counts. It will sound like sour grapes but I’m not sure if it is ever going to be easy for the support services to win much. We’re not in the public eye like other services. When we think of local authorities it is pavements and refuse and schools that we think of (for now at least). It is not HR or finance or legal or ICT. When we won at Dynamites 14 it was for the work with Digital Durham, something that is absolutely in the public space and so I rest my case.
But it is not all bad news. All of the people that were there had been short-listed. I’m assuming that there were many more applicants who hadn’t made it. There were six categories of award and ICT Services was represented in all but one. There were thirty two short-listed entries and ICT Services were directly involved in eight of them (which I make to be twenty five per cent).
Now I know that everything relies on technology and so you could argue that we were involved in them all but that would be disingenuous. Our overall achievement shouldn’t be underestimated though and I was very proud to have been there. There was a good buzz about the place and I tweeted as much as I could.
Our Management Information Services team was up for Excellent Services while we are involved in the Consett Leisure Centre and Academy Project, Family First Team Business Continuity and Garden Waste Scheme in the Working Together category. We helped with the Civil Contingencies Unit and Corporate programme Office with their Modern Ways of Working programme in the Innovation award while Martin was up for the Apprentice of the Year. Our Operations Primary Support were up for the Team of the Year with some impressive figures and Kaveh made the final of the Employee of the Year.
Is it the winning that matters? Should we not put entries in next year because we weren’t successful at this one? Of course not. Taking the opportunity to celebrate what has gone well should be an opportunity that we shouldn’t miss.