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2014 – has to be more than an interest

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2013 was a busy year with plenty of changes at work and home and much learnt. Some of the things I realised were:

  • most of the time I talk sense and make informed decisions;
  • the rest of the time I need to listen to others as we’re never too old to learn new skills or to try and see things differently;
  • 0thers rely on me more than I thought;
  • I therefore need to keep myself fit in body and mind to be effective;
  • if we think we have been through a lot of recent changes in how we live and work then it is nothing to what is yet to come.

Crucially, I’ve realised all the above rely on success of the second and fourth points. If we are over committed, stressed, aren’t fit or able to continue to learn we will be less effective. Listening, learning, contributing to, sharing and developing what others are doing can be creative ways of problem solving. It’s basic stuff but sometimes overlooked as we go about the daily grind.

So some things I’ve recently read that I want to share and highlight as I think they will become mainstream for me and hopefully others too in 2014. I hope you find them useful.
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“How to make friends and influence people”

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That’s another saying used in our family, mostly when someone’s just put their foot in their mouth and we’re laughing at their embarrassment. There’s many a true word said in jest, so I thought I’d look into it further.

At work I’ve been looking at networking and working in different ways, including home working. I’m working with various groups to see how they can expand their reach, meet new folk and share what they do and what they know. Where home working is concerned, wr are looking at how we can remain connected when we aren’t always together.

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Meaning of us

IMG_20130405_082043I’ve been thinking a fair bit about what my role is in the big scheme of things, in and around the increasing network of networks I move between or in which there may be an expectation I should be part of. Also what value I bring, and who for. And it seems from recent chats, over coffee or online, I’m not alone in this. More people seem to be questioning the purpose of various aspects of what they are doing and how they are expected to do things differently, move to a next stage or in what is happening around them. It may be changes at work, adapting to new phases of family life, even down to things like changing seasons, or not as it seems these days.
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Who are you?

I recently conducted a very quick straw poll with five people who I look up to in the #localgov scene. I asked them about use of twitter names in work email signatures. All five responded within an hour. Top people, I chose well, many thanks to them.
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A proper scrum and Agile too

When I was 11, my Fir Tree Middle School report for ‘games’ (as we called it in those days) read “Philip is a well balanced athlete and a very agile cross country runner”. I’ve never forgotten that statement; not so much for what it said, but for what it didn’t say. It could have read “Philip demonstrates absolutely no interest in rugby and actually is a bit of a wimp when it comes to sports of a physical nature”.

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Hitting the spot

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My grandma told a tale about the time she called a repair man to fix the heating. This was many many years ago, long before you could book online or digitally sign your signature and when gas was cheap.

The repair man turned up and my gran showed him the way to the boiler. He looked it over, checked the bits and bobs and knobs and pipes.

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