Five days in…

SimonGeneral, News2 Comments

So I’m now five days into my new job.

The week’s whizzed by quickly, yet looking back I have a feeling of having accomplished a lot in a very short space of time.

I’ve spent two days in Medway Council’s Gun Wharf office in Chatham with the team there, two days in County Hall in Lewes with the East Sussex team there, eight hours or so on trains, presented to a team of 45 managers from the East Kent Services shared team and a spent a day working from home. And I’ve cycled seven miles on my dinky little folding bike too!

Being fully immersed back in the world of communications, I’ve tried to make sure I spend more time than I’ve been able to over the past year in reading as broadly as I can – which has helped some of those long train journeys go just a little bit quicker as well. And I’m hoping to be able to return to blogging a bit more frequently too.

I’m rapidly familiarising myself with the workings of East Sussex County Council – trying to meet as many people as I can to understand how things tick and what makes things happen. I haven’t spent a lot of time in East Sussex in the past so there’s a fairly steep learning curve about the place for me too.

Looking back over the past year it’s also interesting to reflect on what I learnt during my secondment to the Medway Council transformation programme. This week I’ve found myself drawing on the many of the experiences I had during that year – particularly about people and how they respond during different phases of change.

The week ended well with the publication of SOCITM’s Better Connected 2013 results. Despite my misgivings about some of SOCITM’s PR, the independent benchmarking for council website that Better Connected provides is really important. It’s easy to poke at the methodology, but for me it’s a crucial look at how well our websites are doing compared to others – and provides good quality evidence to help advance the digital cause within the organisation.

So when the results were announced this morning I was really pleased to see East Sussex County Council’s website rated as four star and one of the top county council sites nationally, as well as seeing that Medway Council’s website had attained four star rating for the first time too and ranked in the overall top 20 council sites nationally. These results are testament to the work of the web teams in both councils and I’m really proud of both teams’ achievements.

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