We're taking a bit of a breather while the world rearranges its underpants. Meanwhile, the other blog is here.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Talking to the wall

We've been having a staff consultation, one of those "where do you think this library will be in five years' time?" efforts. This is to feed into a corporate Transformational Government Local Plan, which in turn will, if my experience of the past two decades in Helminthdale is anything to go by, feed into a flurry of vicious inactivity. The Library Service component seems to be determined to get its ineffectuality in early.

"We" started off by deciding that the visioning board was to be cleared of its old set-dressings and put to work collecting staff suggestions. And lo, it was cleared and a piece of A4 paper labelled "IDEAS" was stuck on on there.

Two week later we got a collective bollocking for not contributing any ideas.

"Couldn't Policy Team perhaps give us a clue as to what you want us to suggest?" I ask Milton later.

"We've got lots of ideas but if we put them up then people would complain that we're dictating the agenda," he replied.

I bridled. "There's a world of difference between telling people the rules of the game and playing it for them."

About a week later T.Aldous asked Noreen if she'd like to tell staff what was needed for to input to The Vision. Noreen replied that she'd rather not, thank you.

Maybelle was then given the job of decorating the visioning board with bits of Vision.

"What do you want me to do?" she asked.

"Oh, just stick some pictures up of modern libraries."

"Anything in particular?"

"Something that shows how libraries are becoming more modern."

"Such as...?"

"A few pictures will do for now."

So Maybelle set upon the task with the energy only given to angry Yorkshirewomen and filled it with pictures of modern libraries showing how libraries are becoming more modern. I'm not sure why there was a picture of a gas meter and I'm not the one who's going to be asking her.

Staff made suggestions. Tentatively at first, just in case we were making the wrong suggestions. Just to test the water, so to speak, Frog and I deliberately made a few wrong suggestions. Nothing exploded so people gained a little confidence and over the next few weeks they came up with quite a useful list of ideas.

And then...

And then...

And then...

Well, nothing.

"What's happening with The Vision?" I ask Milton.

"It's gone to the Change Team for them to do whatever they're going to do with it. They were supposed to have sent some type of response by now but they haven't."

"Couldn't you let staff know that's where we're up to?"

"There's nothing to say. The Change Team hasn't got back to us yet."

"Perhaps a thank you to the troops for their input?"

I suggested. What was I thinking? This is why they're senior managers and I'm just a toiler in the vinyard.


Gadjo Dilo said...

I'm also a fan of constantly making wrong suggestions: it educates people to think for themselves, to then feel they're cleverer than you are and to feel smug about it, but leaving you the supreme pleasure of knowing that you're working them like a marionette.

Affer said...

Priceless! I'm minded of an occasion many years ago when inept HR people at a company for which I worked, put up a board in the 'works' canteen to ask for suggestions for a Christmas present for the MD. The clear winner was "A beam and a length of rope"!!

PI said...

I just can't read that without deep chuckles inside of me. You have to be on the outside I think:)

Kevin Musgrove said...

Ah no, don't blow my gaff, Gadjo!

Affer: Excellent!

Pat: we have learned to laugh. Indeed, we are getting a bit silly about it.