Thursday, 14 June 2012

Managing in a political environment

Political-management trailer from Simon Baddeley on Vimeo.

Tuesday, I was tutoring a training course on 'Managing in a Political Environment' with my friend Martyn Allison. I attended on Monday afternoon to help me link their contributions to mine. My preamble:
Good government is where the best of politics and management combine. This part of the programme will focus on the skills, codes and values that strengthen trust between elected members and officers - hence between government and citizens in the delivery and production of public goods. It aims to further develop appreciation of techniques, processes and procedures that can be used by those leading in a political environment; and increase understanding of how the roles of political and managerial leaders are changing and how this applies in your council. Over these two days we aim to:
• assist you to read and maintain your knowledge of the political scene,
• explore the skills and values basic to political-management working,
• develop and fine-tune your feel for the boundaries between political, managerial and professional work,
• add to your vocabulary of political concepts, offering models of competence and integrity in politically sensitive situations.
Teaching style will be participative, using a mix of discussion, handouts, real case studies and video to stimulate analysis and reflection on best practice.
Day 1  Monday 11 June 
2.00  Councillor Flick Rea (Camden Council) member of the LGA Culture,
          Tourism and Sport Board – a politician’s view - Presentation and discussion
3.30 Tea
4.00 Christine Fisher, Chief Executive, North West Leicestershire Council – the Chief Officer’s view
5.30 Understanding your own political environment
This session will provide an opportunity to reflect on the two previous speakers, on how you are developing resilience in your current working contexts. Here we will start preparing for the second day by thinking about your own level of understanding about the political environment in which you work and your experiences working there
Working at the convergence of three spaces
Day 2
9.00   Introduction to the day by Simon Baddeley of the University of Birmingham,            Institute of Local Government Studies and Martyn Allison.
9.10 Learning about your own Political Environment.
The session will introduce you to the concept of mapping the political environment in which you must work and developing tools to develop and maintain your understanding of it so you can engage with it successfully.
Mapping the world of elected members – Introduction
Working in Leicester - Martyn A                                                    
Mapping my local political environment - exercise      
The tools – Responsible Gossip & Chatham House rule
10.30 Political management leadership – constructing trust across overlapping areas.
The session will provide an introduction to the theory of political management, enriching your understanding of the overlapping worlds of the professional, the managerial and the political.
11.15 Break.
11.30 Negotiating the overlap. The session will enable you to observe and analyse filmed conversations between senior managers and politicians.
12.45 Lunch
1.30. Governing at the interface
The session will provide you with an opportunity to practice your political management skills by tackling a range of sensitive real life situations.
Introduction to ‘reading’ and ‘carrying’  
Critical incidents exercises in groups    
Feedback and discussion             
2.45 Towards Leadership United
The final session will enable you to bring the learning from the two days together and consider how as leaders you can engage with elected members, learning to inhabit each others’ worlds while respecting their boundaries. 
Citizens, politicians, managers, professionals - interactions of government
*** *** ***
Jim Potts on Corfu Blues writes that it's worth going to Corfu solely to see the superbly curated Edward Lear Centenary Exhibition at the Palace of St Michael and St George at the head of the Liston.
It began on 29 May and runs into the end of August. I've been avoiding mentioning this exhibition as I don't really like looking at pictures with lots of other people. For similar reasons I miss no opportunity to describe the break down of the rule of law in Corfu.
Dimitra's birthday '...societal collapse'
Winter at Zisimos on the Liston
On the Liston '...breakdown of the rule of law'
'...f'ragmentation of the family' ~ at Effie's house
*** *** ***
I'm delighted to have had a chance to learn how to get the settings needed to get better picture quality when uploading film to the internet. Franziska Bahrle - from Ingolstadt in Bavaria -  has been  teaching me to improve the efficiency with which I go through the standard sequence - filming (best recording setting for the camera) - loading what I've recorded into my computers film-making software (Final Cut Pro + advice on the detail of that software) - compressing the film in readiness for streaming on the web (choice of codec, frame rate, interlace or not to interlace, etc - the stuff with which I struggle) - transfer of compressed film to converter (MPEG Streamclip). This is all about the technical rather than artistic quality. It's like being taught better ways to use ink, pens and paper. I'm continuing tutorials with Franzi. She's a video journalist, and a talented film-maker. Here's an example of a test film she made using my camera, software and laptop at the session in Lozells Methodist Church on Thursday morning. There's no sound.

Second test clip, with sound...
One of the next things I'll be learning is how to do sound transitions to match image transitions. Until now I have just made my transitions with film and sound locked.


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