Between personal and professional

exploring work life balance



The grey area of disruption – a breakthrough from #agecamp


Like fog, grey areas can be places where it is difficult to see what is going on and where sight of the bigger picture can be lost. Continue reading “The grey area of disruption – a breakthrough from #agecamp”


#commshero – sometimes ‘different’ is where we need to go


For this post, you need to know I’m a proud Yorkshireman. Apparently there’s a perception we are minded to tell it how we see it. I’m also an honest comms chap and don’t spin things either, ever.

The foundations of my music tastes were laid down in the 1980’s. ‘Club Tropicana’ and ‘Wake me up before you go go’ do not feature in my top 100,000 fave choons or will ever. So if you’d said to me back then, that 30 years later I’d walk down Deansgate in Manchester carrying a red canvas bag with ‘Wham’ splashed all over it, I’d have probably laughed myself silly.
Continue reading “#commshero – sometimes ‘different’ is where we need to go”

Stuff I know nothing about


When I look for inspiration in how to start a blog post it’s amazing how many times I come back to one of the sayings my family have used over the years. I imagine that’s not untypical.
So, a classic from my mum this time…….. “it’s not what you know, but who you know.”

Now it doesn’t take Einstein to work out this must be about knowledge and knowing the people who can ‘tap it’ in the right place.

Continue reading “Stuff I know nothing about”

Involve me in my story


Once upon a time we knew little about anything. As we grew up we were told stories explaining our culture, where we live and how we should be. Some included numbers and letters; Three Little Pigs, The Ugly Duckling, The Emperor’s New Clothes. 

We wanted them reading again and again even though we knew what happened in the end. We came to learn and understand simple values which would help us in later life and hopefully make us good people. 

We bonded with the people who told us the stories and came to trust them.

We learned because people we trusted explained things in a way we understood and involved us in the storytelling.

We went to school and learned to tell and write our own stories, improve our life skills and understand and appreciate different stories and interpretations.

Somewhere along the way numbers and letters became statistics and rhetoric. How we should be became behaviour change; stories became strategic narratives using language we don’t always understand or associate with as much as we did.

As a result people lose trust, are increasingly confused, frustrated and potentially isolated.

We need to reconnect.

We need to involve and engage people with ‘their’ story again.

47 (and a bit more) and not out


As a child I drew pictures of racing cars, houses, rockets, tanks, footballers and other sportsmen; typical boy stuff. They were mostly numbered 47. A four and a seven sat well together and curved numbers were more difficult to draw.

Continue reading “47 (and a bit more) and not out”

The naked public servant


I don’t consider myself a complicated person so I usually keep things simple. When things intrigue me I will investigate or ask that awkward, question; “so what?”  I break things down into their basic form to try and understand them, mostly so I can explain to others; be it as a parent, or through my work. If I have to look too far to find a meaning or if I’m given a load of twaddle then I’ll soon switch off. That’s probably the same for most people.

Continue reading “The naked public servant”

It all starts with a ‘thing’


When I started clearing my drive of snow one day last winter there wasn’t much happening in my head or in my street. It was sunny, the snow was deeper than usual and it would probably take me an hour or so to clear the drive. I had no plans other than a family walk; ‘thinking time’ I thought.

Continue reading “It all starts with a ‘thing’”

A good knock

The 27th May 2012 marked the 25th anniversary of the day I joined Leeds City Council. I thought the occasion merited a few anecdotes. Back in ‘87 there was no big signing on fee, no press photo call holding up my shirt with my name on it with. I just turned up with my packed lunch and certificates at the Department of Industry and Estates (to become Leeds Development Agency, then Development Department, then Planning & Development Department, now City Development Directorate, etc etc).

Continue reading “A good knock”

Once upon a time…my introduction to scrum Agile

……….so if you recall, I was in the initial project planning meeting for my organisation’s website and intranet replacements. I’d just met a ‘Scrum Master’and had the Agile methodology speed dating equivalent and been tasked with cascading it to the world and his dog.

Continue reading “Once upon a time…my introduction to scrum Agile”

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