It’s been a momentous few weeks. Elections, sporty stuff, technology, holidays…and lots of learning from things that happen every day – because every day is a school-day. (Which is ‘What I Learnt Yesterday’ is all about, of course)
The election result proved how hard it is to be a pollster in our more divided nation. First Past the Post was designed for two major parties – and I cannot see any change happening like Turkeys wouldn’t vote for Christmas. It does make you think about how we perpetuate some old ideas in our own organisations “because we have always done it that way”. It may be time to reassess? New members of a team are often really good at seeing things with fresh eyes and ideas. This seems to last about 3 months – so ask them lots of times about what they think could be improved after a month or so. You might be quite surprised at what you hear…
My final thoughts were about seeing and hearing the erudition of Nick Robinson on the BBC – returning for the election special after surgery for Lung Cancer. Just getting on with it seemed to be his mantra – and he apparently wrote a book while convalescing for 3 weeks. Doesn’t that make you want to just get on with it? If you wait for ‘the right time’, you may be too late?
Volunteers struck me as the ultimate enthusiasts when visiting various places on holiday in Glorious Yorkshire. There was one particular woman in The James Cook museum in Whitby who was an absolute joy. It does seem to be a very British trait, volunteering. Doing something for nothing – just for the joy of it – seems reward in itself for many. She did tell us that James T Kirk, captain of The Starship Enterprise in the famous Sci Fi TV show, was based on James Cook. Walking in the Yorkshire Moors and Dales was another eye opener – I do forget how beautiful our whole country is sometimes. Also managed a tick on our bucket list – spied some Puffins at Bempton Cliffs (RSPB site – again, staffed mainly by volunteers).
Strangest place we visited was a cat cafe in Nottingham. Just a fun place – and so out of the box! It was very easy to forget the world and recharge your batteries in such a place. No good if you are allergic, of course…
The joy of statistics – you can prove anything if you work at it. Apparently, if you demolished Birmingham and rebuilt it 15 minutes closer to London, that would be the same costs as building HS2. (Which saves 15 minutes on the journey to Birmingham from London). I suppose it made me think again about using statistics to prove a point is just too enticing, and you can fit the figures to any fact you wish to prove.
Lots of food and family and friend gatherings – always good to remember the simple pleasures of eating and chatting (and commiserating each other over another football season of frustration!)
My favourite quote of the month? (Quotes always help you to think clearly, I feel). “A little lemon juice makes everything taste better”. I agree!