Sunday, 22 April 2012

The Odanglesex Chronicles: The Beasts of the Jungle


Hi! I spent odd bits and pieces of time over the last few days of my short break reading "Chaotic Organization" by the American business consultant Mark Walzenunfall. He divides everybody into four categories based on their degree of external and internal organisation. For example, you might be very organised in meetings but chaotic in organising your holidays or finances, or the other way around. You might be well-organised in both or in neither. Do you have a neat desk - OK, most of you don't have desks now, but I expect you remember them - while the inside of your briefcase, back-pack or handbag is frankly a mess, or is it the other way around?

I found this really interesting. I'm afraid I'm a bit of an organised exterior, disorganised inside type, and no, I don't mean after a curry. After I'd read Mark Walzenunfall I went straight and tipped out my handbag. I found all sorts of things there - tickets for the whole family to a show last week, a condolence card for my aunt, eight paper clips, three tissues, my blackberry, two and a half biros, a ten pound note, some Euros, some sweets, a corkscrew, some lip salve, some girl things and a small colony of ants. I was able to organise them all into a much more rational presentation.

The fact is, I had the system all set up (the handbag). I was in command of the direction of travel (wherever I went, the handbag went too). But I'd lost control of content.

We have lots of systems at County Hall. We have Special Delivery Vehicles. We have external and internal communications systems rated outstanding in the last peer review by Lord Oddie. But what's in them? Most of us don't know. Last time I opened up one of the Special Delivery Vehicles I was horrified by what I found. It wasn't in line with our Transformation Strategy at all.

In the private sector people are used to maintaining close control of content. What would you think if you opened a six-egg carton and found only five eggs, let alone pickled onions? This is why we've created a new Directorate of Content and I'm really delighted that Anton Wilks is coming hotfoot from being Director of Transit and Allocation at Morrison's the supermarket to be our new Director of Content.

I'm very contented and I know you all will be!

FROM: Kenneth Spotlessnob, Assistant Chief Executive and Director of Transformational Excellence and Strategic Vision

TO: Simeon Lascelles, Director of Spatial Exploration and Direction Management
Hilda Wrass, Director of Cultural Transformation
cc: Neil Balderson, Assistant Director of Transformational Excellence and Strategic Vision


Kelly will be contacting you shortly so we can discuss how we can best work with the new Director of Content.

FROM: Neil Balderson

TO: Kenneth Spotlessnob


It's a side-issue, but I thought you might like to know I looked up Anton Wilks on the internet, and while his personal profile is quite impressive on the face of it, he was in charge of Morrisons' operations in the North-west five years ago when pickled onions were found in egg cartons in three Manchester stores.

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