Six degrees of separation


A few years ago when I was working at Staffordshire County Council, Catherine Raines, who is now the Chief Executive Officer of UKTI but at the time was director there, led a session on networking at one of our senior manager’s conference.

As we sat the JCB headquarters in Rocester in Staffordshire, Catherine talked us through the different people she knew, how she knew them and the connections and opportunities it had brought using pictures and flow charts. While it sounds a bit bulls**ty, it was actually really, really interesting. It was essentially a massive illustration of the six degrees of separation.

Posted on 27th April 2016

Taking time out of the office is important


Every year for a week the whole of the Policy, Performance and Communications Directorate at Westminster City Council are encouraged to take time out and get involved in various volunteering opportunities.

This is on top of the time given to staff by the Council to volunteer.

It is a great chance to get to work with other people in the 120 strong team in an environment that isn’t actually ‘work’.

Posted on 13th April 2016

Risky Business

Risky Business.jpg

I never find it easy to pin down the starting idea that is needed for a blog post.

As I realised the deadline for this one was upon me (I’m ENTP– we always work just to deadline) I opened a laptop and felt the dread that says, ‘Oh. I have nothing to say’.

People who know how much I talk will find this hard to believe, but it’s not unusual. I blog rarely because I feel increasingly (probably because of how much I talk) that people have probably heard just about enough from me, and that - unless I have a new thing – it’s best I just shut up a bit.

As I opened it, the laptop showed me an open file. A spreadsheet! The directorate risk register. Towards the bottom was the one the communications people are always supposed to own. It’s a big one: ‘Reputation Risk’ (Risk Owner – Senior Comms officer).

It often seems to me that the real risk is that our organisations actually think we can own reputation risk. As if somehow we stop the bad things happening.

Posted on 4th April 2016