Thursday, 28 May 2015

Keep right on walking

Today I've been either walking, on a train, or in meetings! The train bit was to get to London and back.

The walking bit was part of the Global Corporate Challenge, an initiative to improve employee health and well being all over the world. Teams of seven from organisations either carry pedometers or use their own devices (mines a Fitbit one) to measure how many steps you do a day for a 100 days, and your combined distance is plotted on a virtual map starting in Japan, and the aim is to see how far round the world you can get. And to get fit of course. We have a team of seven in CiCS, and we started the challenge yesterday. I usually aim to walk 10,000 steps a day, but I'm going to up it  over the challenge  if I can - today by walking to my meeting in London and back, and walking back from the station I've done 15,000. Not bad on a recovering and still painful sprained ankle! Of course, the published aim is to get fit, but we're only doing it to beat the teams from EFM and the Library....

The meetings in London were the UCISA Executive, and then a conference organising committee. We spent quite a lot of time at the Exec discussing our structure - we're made up of a series of groups, made up of experts in the relevant field who do an excellent job of promoting best practice, organising events etc. But, they do look a bit technology based, and maybe don't show the services we support - research IT or teaching and learning technologies for example. The support is there, but perhaps not obvious in the current organisation. Its a bit like trying to map a service catalogue onto a line management structure. We need to make the matrix clearer - and that's our task over the coming months.

The conference committee is now well into organising next year's event - getting the speakers booked is the priority at the moment. As a charity we have to look after our funds, so we can't afford the big fees that some speakers demand, so our negotiating skills are often put to the test!

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