Monday, March 30, 2009

Cool, Calm, ...and a little divine (!)

Someone recently introduced me as being “Cool, Calm, and a little divine”!
When pressed, they explained that I always seem to come across as being relatively unflappable (hence the cool and calm), but also that I seem to be able to simple 'arrive' with a group, quietly sort out their problems whatever they may be and then smoothly leave again (hence the divine).

This got me thinking – as someone who professes a Christian faith, I'm always seeking ways in which to reflect and integrate this into the ways that I work. And in turn, this has led to my being involved with various faith based enterprises (Christian and other) and also in supporting and speaking at theological colleges and national initiatives.

While I'm not sure yet how heretical I might be being in not refuting this person's view of my 'divinity' it is reassuring to know that the way in which I aspire to work based on my values is being recognised by at least some of those around me.

As co-operatives, social enterprise and others, we are defined by our values, so its crucial to ensure that those values are not only being made manifest, but are also being recognised by others; social accounting is one way to start to explore how well we're achieving this, but asking someone to introduce you may be just as revealing...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The end of the affair...

Well, we knew this time would come, but that didn't stop us doing our best to spend as much time as possible together, getting up to all sorts of antics in all sorts of unusual places. And now that its over, and despite the squabbling beginning over who still owes who what, we still hope that one day we might once again be together...

I am, of course, talking about time limited enterprise support programmes that are managed by infrastructure or statutory bodies, but who use freelance consultants (like me) to enable them to achieve the programme's goals and targets.
There's a regional one just finished that I was fortunate enough to be a part of supporting the delivery of, and for a while it was great – enterprises would be 'given me' to help them look at all sorts of issues and ideas without the need to have to pay me (and in some instances actually ended up getting paid as well as having several days of my life!!), the project manager in the infrastructure body would always be on the phone or email with chaste messages about how happy they were with my performance, what they'd like me to do next, and to see if there were other things I might be able to do to make their life more easy and enjoyable; and in return? I got paid (always useful when you're not in a salaried position with a cat to support), I got the chance to work with groups who otherwise would never have the chance to get so much dedicated support, and I didn't have to go selling myself to find the work – my new best friend in the project manager found it for me!
And yet... all good things and all that.

The programmes' now finished, and like an affair drawing to a close, we start to find ourselves having less time for each other, conversations that would once have taken place by phone or in person are conducted by cold, short emails, and I find myself asking for the metaphorical 'favourite CD' back – namely the outstanding monies I'm owed from my final invoices submitted nearly 7 weeks ago...
There's little room for negotiation or threats at this stage (not that was at any other time either) in getting that money paid, but overall it leaves me felling somehow poorer for the whole experience – there's been no 'farewell bash' for all of us consultants to get together one last time with the programmes team to celebrate and reminisce, no offer given of feedback on how well we performed, or what hopes there might be for a future liaison together again one day...

Yes, this affair is sadly over, but I'm always in the market for a new one!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

so this it it...I'm here!

well, after concerted and sustained lobbying by several people, I've decided to do it - I've started a blog!

Can't guarantee how frequenetly this will be updated, but I pledge to try and post at least one thing of interest each month, and am always happy to receive requests or suggestions from people as to what they'd like my thoughts and positions on (within certain boundaries of taste and legalaties, of course...)

So - my first post being done, I hope you'll find this blog of interest as it becomes more populated with references to my various mis-advantures and escapades.

see you 'out there'...