Monday 29 August 2011

I didn't sign up here to be a coward

I can always go back to pushing bits of paper.

And every time I do not believe I can make a difference I will watch this. And if that doesn't work, I will come back to this post, this post that says these things we do and some things I have affected and some things I have not but these are the things which are indisputable and inarguable and things can be changed and local government can be innovative and it is our responsibility to understand that we cannot stand still, we must not stand still, that if we do stand still all the things we do well will no longer be done by us because someone else can do them cheaper, quicker, faster because they took advantage of technology and we just looked at it slackjawed, as if it were a juggernaut heading for us and we stood there and we did nothing. We are not doing nothing.

We have a bit of tech that means are 1-2-1's are a breeze, our appraisals a walk in the park. It was simple. It was quick. And it works. And people can see it has a use and an immediate one to them and so they are using it.
Our Twitter stream is going to become a little more interactive. A little less rss feed and nothing else. Finally. Finally. FINALLY. 
We decided we needed indicators. We've got some indicators. They're beginners indicators. They're a whole hell of a lot better than most people have managed.
I sit on a group that is guiding the Connected strand of our 2030 Vision. It's the Councils vision for the Borough built on consultation with the Borough. Digital connectivity is a strand. Okay, so it's going to be sidelined entirely in the waves of 'we're not quite ready for this yet, we don't understand' but it's there. It's there and it's going to stay there and we will deliver on it. And you know what, evidence based practice. 
I HATE FACEBOOK TOO. Facebook is not the frikking internet, hello you people, are you listening? Facebook is 1 tool in a raft of tools that are not trying to kill your children. They're your children. They're not my frikking children. I don't have frikking children but if I did, they would not be on frikking Facebook. People who do not understand this, do not understand they can say this, do not understand it is possible to not have your child be on Facebook before they're ready to deal with Facebook, they're the reason we have an e-safety unit attached to the schools. They are the reason people. 
We have weekly stand ups. We use whiteboards and stuff. There are no post-it notes on the whiteboard but there doesn't need to be and because there doesn't need to be they will not be there. NO INNOVATING FOR THE SAKE OF INNOVATING.
I'm studying for an NVQ. For free.  Comments about taxpayers money be damned, I'm learning something. I'm learning about how to work in a team, I'm learning about misplaced trust, I'm learning about internal politics and I am learning about how hard trying to effect real change is when you're right at the bottom of the godamn pile and no one has to listen to you cos they're not paid to listen to you. But I made some suggestions. They were well received suggestions. They'll disappear in the mire of the box ticking exercise that is the NVQ. So here you go, someone else make them happen - imagine an skills marketplace where all the people who wanted to volunteer for their local community be it advocacy or translation and interpretation and who worked in the Council, could volunteer. A skills database. Simples. Free translation. For your local Councillors surgeries, for your Ward meetings, for your neighbourhood meetings, for your PACT meetings. There you go, bang, job done.
I'm doing a monthly tools round up of things we could use if we wanted to. I bang on about not wanting anyone in the Council to end up at a conference and get a blank look on their face when someone talks about Twitter. Well our team comes first and it's me first against the wall if they don't know something. This week, they know a bit more than they did last week. Ditto next month. Might be, one of them even uses one of those tools. Might not. Might be no suitable campaigns come up. RIGHT  TOOL FOR THE RIGHT JOB.
I've contributed to the Councils response to Making Data Real. Cos I was asked to. I was grateful to be asked and I took the task damn seriously. 
As part of the NVQ, we now have a Ward by Ward breakdown of demographics inside our Borough. It tells you whether it's worth putting a notice in a church about your meeting. It tells you if it's worth using the school newsletter of the local school cos there's a high percentage of co-habiting/married couples with at least one dependant child. It does not tell you the name of the school. You work in the neighbourhoods, you know the name of the school. I work in Comms, I do not know the name of the school. I STICK TO WHAT I'M GOOD AT. 

There's a tonne of other stuff I have been involved with or am involved with that I wont bore you with. I am busy, I am working my ass off. I am trying the very hardest that I can to change attitudes, behaviours, cultures, approaches. I am asking questions. I am passionate about my job. This is not a mission, those are for religious people. 

I simply believe that residents deserve to be looked after, cared for, defended, advocated for, served, trusted, consulted, listened to and believed in.

I am a resident too. Listen to me. I am the forerunner of the generations coming after me and if you think I'm demanding the moon on the stick, wait until you hear what they are expecting.


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