Release the albatross.
What are you thinking about?
I’m thinking about infrastructure. Still. And programme management. I might change this opening question as I don’t think I change what I think about often enough to sound cosmopolitan and interesting.
Who did you talk to outside of your organisation?
I spoke to a peer team about a job we’re doing next week. It’s the second time we’re working on something that might appear in Private Eye. Brings a certain frisson.
What did you learn / read this week?
I learned that Singapore have got a really groovy bunch of people doing their digital planning work. It was amazing, and showed what was possible if you have a Venn diagram of
* a zonal system of controlling land use
* a one-stop-shop of government
* seemingly POTS of money and lots of talented people, which may demonstrate
* a seriousness about the future and how to make land work hard
Very very impressive. When a feedback loop appears on the first handful of slides you know it’s going to be good.
I also got a lot out of a post from our one-time buddies dxw. There is a lot going on just under the radar at the moment, with both “devo” and “planning” likely to get a thorough shakedown. There is lots of organisational girding of loins – with some of the opening positions being published and mutually supported. Uncharitably some of it looks like defending the status quo, which I don’t think is a great look. Interestingly it is dxw (a private outfit) that in my view does a better job of showing the problem with centralisation and makes the case for diversity and local accountability. And listening.
What did you make / achieve?
I made a trading account for our consultancy business, which isn’t very exciting but a necessary part of keeping the show on the road. Repeat after me: a job cannot make any money until it is invoiced.
I have also taken a big step forward on an old stinky project. I have worked out where the friction points are, and started the process of minimising the grief that is going to come along with it when we do finally publish our updated guide.
What are you looking forward to next week?
I’m looking forward to finding out just how well peer work can be delivered via skype. I’m sure we’ll do something good enough, but interviewing people (especially agitated people in groups) is hard and relies on a whole range of perceptions that probably don’t work very well down a tiny screen. Learning by doing.
I’m also going to need to set out my stall for the IFS work, which is going to be a squeeze but the conversations I’ve been having in small groups need to be constructed into something and shared more widely.