Awards again

It is the awards season again and I'm in two minds. I never know if award events are good things.  I am not alone. A quick straw poll of my Leadership Team would suggest that we are all of the same view.  We are all slightly uncomfortable with them yet recognise that they have some … Continue reading Awards again

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


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

Dynamites 16

This year is the third time that we have run the Dynamo North East annual awards event – Dynamites 16. As a board member of Dynamo, the organisation that is working to grow the IT industry across the North East, I have been very keen to see the event go from strength to strength.  Why?  … Continue reading Dynamites 16

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