Posted tagged ‘ideas’

In need of inspiration

May 17, 2012

If only creative juices were available by the bottle

Some articles we write come easily and flow from mind to fingertips.  Other times however, things are a tad more difficult.  It was as I sat down to write today’s post that I found I was in need of a little inspiration.  I found myself browsing the web, rereading things others have written and researching a few leads I had in the back of my mind.

It was at this point that I was struck by the resemblance of this process to that which I face regularly whilst sitting in the office.  Being known as someone who is ‘creative’ and ‘comes up with ideas’ is both a help and a hindrance, and there have been many times when I’ve found myself in meetings merely to act as a catalyst for thought and discussion or been looked at with expectant expressions after a problem has been presented and a solution requested.

It can feel akin to being told to dance on demand, or demanding that a comedian makes someone else laugh.  The expectation that because they are able to act in a certain way at certain times means they can switch it on or turn it off on demand is overwhelming, and can limit the creativity on offer.  It also puts all onus for creativity or inspiration on a small number of people, taking the burden and expectation off of others to do so.

Often we need a little help to be creative and innovative, and it’s easy to turn to those people you know who fire out ideas (good or bad) like OK magazine throwing out scandals.  But where else can we go for inspiration?  What else is out there to inspire or guide us and to then support us to do things differently or approach a problem from a new angle? (more…)

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Localgov Secret Santa Gifts

December 20, 2011

What will Santa bring for good local government types?

With the festive season very much upon us, staff up and down the country are busy trying to work out how to get a gift for a fiver for their secret santa choice despite only having met them once at a team away day four months earlier. If you’re having problems you should either visit the mindblowingly brilliant Five Squids website for some inspiration, or alternatively read our list and match your chosen person with the perfect gift.

If you’ve got any other suggestions you can join in the fun by leaving a comment below or by tweeting us (@welovelocalgov) using #localgovgifts

Chief Exec
In this time of constant attack from angry residents, media local and national, councillors from just about all parties and even from those who are supposed to be there for local government it’s important to know that your friendly Chief Exec needn’t take all of the flak themself. Why not provide them with a fully disposable sacrificial lamb?

Simply select an officer of little actual power and arrange for all blame to fall firmly at their door. Should they happen to earn more than the chief exec they will also be able to deflect those pesky paid-more-than-the-PM arguments.

Scrutiny manager
Scrutiny needn’t be a chore – it can be fun too! Give your scrutiny manager the chance to pit their wits against colleagues with a personalised version of the classic Cluedo board game.

They will be able to investigate the mystery of who killed all hope and trust in the public sector: Was it Mr Pickles in the Office with a hatchet? (more…)

Hold on lads, I’ve got an idea

August 26, 2010

The classic phrase is something along the lines of ‘if you put a million monkeys in front of a million typewriters for an infinite amount of time, eventually one will reproduce the complete works of Shakespeare’.  Well, if apparently if you ask 65m people to come up with ideas for cutting the national defecit and saving money you’ll get a seemingly endless numbers of suggestions (whittled down to about 45,000 so far), both weird and wonderful.

In case you’ve missed it, the government have been asking people online to come up with any and all ideas for ways to cut costs, and boy have the people responded.  Interestingly, apparently two-thirds of suggestions have come from public sector staff (although take with a pinch of salt any piece of information presented with the word ‘apparently’ as a precursor).

There are literally tens of thousands of suggestions on the site, many of which are repeats, racist, xenophobic or just plain stupid.  However, there are some real gems in there, with some so basic and easy to do it really made me scratch my head and try to justify why they have yet to be done. (more…)