Doing our own thing

We are prisoners of our language.  It defines what we mean yet it confines our ability to change.  The way we describe things sets the tone for all subsequent thought about that subject, if we are not careful. I recall reading how Taiichi Ohno, considered to be the father of the Toyota Production System, had … Continue reading Doing our own thing

National Boss / Employee Exchange Day

So yesterday was National Boss / Employee Exchange Day.  I’m not sure which nation this refers to but I suspect it is America.  There seems to be a day for everything now.  Who make these things up?  What does swapping the boss and employee actually mean? According to the blurb the day gives employees and … Continue reading National Boss / Employee Exchange Day

Smart Stanley Website Lunch

The rise of digital services and online trading is often seen as a threat to the high street as trade is drawn away from traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ outlets to online shops. Digital services however offer much more than online trading, such as the ability to provide information, promote business and visitor attractions as well … Continue reading Smart Stanley Website Lunch

LCIOC 2

Today was my second Local CIO Council (LCIOC), the only meeting I go to with a nested acronym within an acronym.  OK, it’s not really an acronym but you know what I mean.  It is really just a set of initials.  Anyway, the meeting was held in London which is a bit of a pain … Continue reading LCIOC 2

Highways and Byways

A few blogs back I was telling you about our planning session with the Technical team, those people who look after our highways and other related infrastructure.  I said that it was an attempt to look at where we are going and how both services could work together to get there yet I never got … Continue reading Highways and Byways

Opening open data

The world of open data seems elusive.  It appears to be beyond my reach at times.  I scrabble and scramble yet progress remains painfully slow.  It is like a Kafka novel with obstacles at every turn. It’s not that we don’t have the ideas or the people to implement them.  It’s that we are stuck … Continue reading Opening open data

Birds in the belfry

Up on floor five I was distracted by a flock of swifts that were flying past the window. I had my back to them but could see their reflections flitting across the screen of the laptop.  In all my years here at County Hall I have never seen birds flock around the building in the … Continue reading Birds in the belfry

Breaking history

One of the things I find is that it is very hard for us to leave our baggage behind when we are thinking.  Like the old joke ‘I wouldn’t start from here’ it is taxing to imagine a future that is not a projection from where we are now. I’ve covered this before when describing … Continue reading Breaking history

Durham Student Life

Our student app has gone live.  It was a few weeks in the making and a few months in the waiting.  After all there was little point in launching something until the students were around to appreciate it.  They’ll be starting soon.  It has been a small step for apps and a giant leap for … Continue reading Durham Student Life

Social Care

I had a great morning in the One Point Service at Bishop Auckland. The weather was awful and it didn’t help that I had put the wrong postcode into my satnav but other than that it was time very well spent. The One Point Service brings council staff together with the NHS and provides a … Continue reading Social Care