When Roy first asked me to get involved in Socitm I was a little less than enthusiastic. My attitude has changed however. After a slow start we have got something good going. The meetings go from strength to strength. There was a time when there was only the single representative from the twelve local authorities sat around the table, but now we have people attending from across the whole public sector as well as the private.
Graham has put an enormous amount of effort into making the meetings interesting, relevant and entertaining. They are very well attended now and the region is growing its reputation. Once again, at the latest meeting, the room was full. I have not seen the room at Ramside so packed for quite some time. Socitm in the North East is alive and well.
Now that the meetings seem to be going well, we have turned our focus to getting more out of Socitm’s relationship with central government. This is the real prize that the region is looking for from the organisation and is what sets it apart from the North East ICT Managers (NEICT) group. There is more work to be done though. The region needs to be clear what its ask is. We need to take these messages to the centre.
I enjoy the meetings so much now that I find myself blogging after every one. There is always something to write about. We theme the meetings and this month the focus was on the difference, perceived or real, between the private and public sectors. There is more in common than we may think. For me, it is the choice of customer that defines the main difference. Private sector can choose while the public sector cannot, or at least easily.
Sue and Steve remind me that you should live by your values, and that my values lean perhaps more towards the public.