Friday, 20 July 2007

Sometimes people just need to be told....

you can empower, cajole, encourage, influence, create climates.... but sometimes you just have to say it as it is.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Robben out shocker ..... NOT

Arjen Robben has apparently agreed personal terms over a move to Real Madrid, reports BBC Radio Five Live. The same report claims Feyenoord's 20-year-old left winger Royston Drenthe has been lined up to replace him.
Works for me ... Drenthe looks like he's already made of stronger stuff than our fagile Mr Robben. Though it still leaves the Wright-Phillips situation up in the air

Friday, 13 July 2007

Alves - Should I stay or should I go ...

Now apparently, Sevilla have rubbished reports suggesting Chelsea have tabled a bid for Brazil full-back Daniel Alves.
Also on skysports links
Sevilla president Jose Maria del Nido insist on the official club website "We have not received any offers for
Daniel Alves," .
I'm not sure he's worth the £17m that's being touted around but we sure do need some cover at right back .... and I don't mean Glen Johnson and his hookey toilet seat.

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Wiight-Philips wrong-place ?

..... or when four into five just doesn't go

After months of the farcical "we've only spent $1 on make-weights but we really have strengthened the squad - honest guv" chatter its now clear that Chelsea are investing further - but once again not in the areas most fans would suspect - a left back (Paulo Ferreira had a great FA cup final but is not good enough) or a central striker (nuff said about Sheva to date). No we're going down the flanks again with the arrival of Florent Malouda.

That makes it Cole (J), Malouda, Robben, Kahlou and Wright-Phillips as genuine wide players and you have to believe that if itwas all about form and flair then SWP should be looking to the exit. Indeed, when you listen to Jose today..... "When you specifically talk about Arjen's name I want to make it very, very clear that the fact we have signed Malouda does not open the door for him to leave," Mourinho told Sky Sports News"..... its hard to see how Sean has a future at the bridge at all.

I've always thought Robben was an incredible talent if only he could bulk up and get some steel. There is no doubt that he has all the skills and talent and whats more, scares defenders whit-less when he's running at them - who else a Chelsea does that ?? According to press quotes this is the first time he's started a pre-season rested and fit in the last 6 years (not bad for a 23 year old??) so if he genuinely has the stomach for a fight and wants to stay then lets hope we see half a dozen top notch performances from him whilst FM is finding his feet. That would make for an interesting set of choices.

As for SWP, there's no doubt he has many gifts but he is too wasteful and seems to need consistent football to get the confidence to perform even at an average level (Robben can do that coming off the bench). I doubt he'll get that at he Bridge so its probably a case of Wright-Phillips, wrong time, wrong place

Monday, 9 July 2007

Feeling very humble

I'm feeling very humble this morning (and even a little embarrassed) having heard that I've been voted one of the Top 50 CIO's in the UK. Having looked at the list of my peers I am truly in exhaulted company so a big thanks to and everyone who voted me into this listing.

I'll do my best to justify the position so keep an eye out here on the "On about being a CIO" tag for some little snippets and my views on stuff

Thanks again

Monday, 2 July 2007

This just makes me smile - thanks Norm !

I must be getting old - 25/06/07

Glastonbury - the quintessential stage for new and interesting talent - forget the mud baths that preoccupy the media, this one is all about the music. Well so I'd hoped. Forget the blanket coverage from the "trying to get down with da kids - BBC" and their scatter gun programming that had it popping up on their various digital channels - its a place to showcase musicianship, attitude, fire, passion.

Now maybe I'm just too old for festivals - I did Reading and Kenbworth in the 70's and 80's - I'd seen The Who when they still had fire in their bellies (Keith was alive), Zeppelin when a Jimmy Page riff could stop time and a whole host of other bands / artists now consigned to the 'dinosaur category' by today's version of angry young men, but still I desperately wanted to be enthralled by this years Glastonbury. Getting a ticket turned out to be as likely as hearing an unspun sentence from Tony Blair, but never mind ..... so I contented myself with the next best thing - dipping in and out of the weekends broadcast coverage from the comfort of my living room with a few beers. How could the line-up fail to impress - Strong staples like The Killers, The Kaiser Chiefs, Arctic Monkeys; bands I'd heard but not seen - Bloc Party, Gulliemots, Damien Marley; and some old boys who might still cut it - Paul Weller, Iggy, The Who. It was a line up to drool over.

Well no - sadly not. Apart from Damien Marley who's set shone with inspiration, it was a truly disappointing affair. The "big acts" - Killers, Kaisers just failed to deliver and the new kids didn't live up to the promise. Poor sound and an over reliance on attitude to overcome naive stage craft and a lack of underlying talent. Someone needs to tell these guys and girls that the odd hit single, catchy riff and smattering of swear words is not enough. Until the climax. .....

I really wanted to hate The Who's set. As I said, I'd seen them nearly 30 years ago when Keith was alive and really kicking and John would dominate the "bottom end " with an mixture of technical grace and breath taking (...the hit to your chest really did take your breath away) simplicity. Roger and Pete surely couldn't kick it up in this company. Well I was wrong and thank the Lord I was. They were the stand out act by a country mile - great songs, great musicianship and the irony of hearing a 60 year old sing my generation after the damp squib performances that had characterised the weekend was not lost on me. Maybe I am getting old but the new boss - same as the old boss ... listening to you - I feel excitement at your feet.

BBC License fee - Worth every penny - not

Did anyone see the Princess Diana birthday / 10th anniversrary concert last night?

If you did, and apparently squilions of people round the world were tunning in to see the broadcast from the BBC, I assume you were as appalled as I was at the inept display from the BBC. Woeful sound mix, shocking production, appalling editing and presenters who seemed to receive their links to and from VT, interviews and stage appearances as if they were hospital passes in an England Vs Argentina football match. To call it rank amateur would be to insult amateurs.

Some of the artists performed admirably given the circumstances that were stacked against them - Joss Stone (Tom J, why did you call her Josh ??), Kanye West, James Morrison, Roger Hodgeson and even Elton's last set ..... but who, in their right mind gave Ricky Gervais the nightmare slot to fill for Elton. Ricky is probably one of the most talented writer/ comedians around at present but to witness him being continually being asked to fill 2 more minutes and the 2 more minutes and then 2 more minutes but a muppet stage hand with a peice of scrappy paper was plain embarrassing.
And how is this world wide extravaganza brought to a close - a poignant montage of early Dianna footage followed by ??????? yes nothing !!!! just the sight of people streaming out of the stadium with a bemused Elton John left on stage. Even my 9 year old could work out that you run the VT before the final number which is then used as the rousing finale

Oh well, good idea and good causes but another example of the incompetence of the amateurs at the BBC who continually waste our license fees.

Rant over ..... for now :-)

Sunday, 1 July 2007

Some thoughts on IT relationships (from 2005)

......shamelessly lifted from my work with David Taylor, Author of the Naked Leader series and someone who I am privileged to consider an inspiration, a colleague and friend. His blog on IT leadership is here

The future is your choice – so seize the moment …

  • Approach - Be “business first and business always
  • Language – Remember that you are the business - make sure everyone speaks "Business English".
  • Service Levels - trusted customer relationships are more important than “service levels”
  • Technology - Focus on what it does - people don't care what it is
  • You – Take control of your personal brand – People ask "What's she/he like?"

Some things to consider

Please try to stop using the term "the business" which in itself creates separation - you are the business. “Users” is a term reserved for drug addicts – avoid it – we have customers !

Don't, that's don't use IT terms and acronyms that your customers don't understand. Explain concepts in the language of business, based on the key drivers/metrics that concern our customers (ie revenue, profit, cost, etc)

Please focus on what technology can do to drive revenue, create new capabilities, automate processes, attract new customers and delight existing ones - talk about what it does, not what it is (unless you're a technology company, no-one cares what it is .... especially your customers).

Development must be flexible - project life cycles have to get shorter. Accept that people have the right to change their minds and turn on a sixpence. The time line for projects is weeks and months, not months and years.

Run your projects as if they were a profit centre - every project (even infrastructure development) must be a business project and you must take on the role of ensuring benefits are realised.

Remove the negatives around IT. Whenever I want something from the IT Department, why is the answer "No" - make it "Yes" and we'll start from there

…….and most of all.

You are all your own “shop window”. Be visible, honest, open and transparent. Remove the smoke and mirrors, take personal ownership and deliver and exceptional IT experience. Take personal pride in everything you do.

Justify yourself

A strange thing happened to Chelsea supporters like me a few years ago. Once the euphoria of the arrival of Mr Abramovich began to wear off it got replaced by this need to justify ones CFC credentials. This was brought home to me last night when watching my mighty Blues dismantle West Brom and still only manage to win 1-0 in the most frustrating fashion. Yes we had just demolished Barcelona the previous week and no Jose isn't this "enemy of football" that UEFA claim but the whole thing just got me reminiscing.

During the game, just in front of me (albeit in the now ludicrously expensive West stand - can this really be the same West stand that used to house the kids enclosure where I stood as a spotty youth back in the early seventies?) were two noisy, suited city types extolling their credentials. The first turned to the second and said "... I just cant stand these damn Johnny-Come-Lately's to Stamford Bridge". "I know" said his colleague, "we go back to
Kerry Dixon."

Kerry bl**dy Dixon. Now don't get me wrong, KD is a legend. I've been fortunate to watch him bury 30+ goals in a season and have also spent some time in his company (along with a good many others) but he's hardly the yardstick for a Chelsea heritage..... and certainly doesn't represent the temporal starting point for bragging rights.

What is odd though, is our current need, and I'm just as guilty as anyone, to say "I'm a Chelsea fan AND I go back to ....." my case 1967.

But it gets worse. I now find myself boring people with the fact that I was drawn to the mighty Blues when we were almost great in the late 60's and hooked by the 1970 cup campaign and epic final. I stood in the West Stand Enclosure and then the Shed when we were hugely fashionable and a joy to watch the early 70's, in free fall through to the early 80's - yes I really did go to Hull and Grimsby away when we languished in the old second division. I cowered in the shadow of the infamous money pit called the East Stand and watched Dixon, Speedie, Nevin and Spackman carry us through the "oh so nearly..." end of the 80's, only for us to be relegated yet again but bounce back with nearly 100 points.

I held my breath as we made it into the young upstart of the Premier League with Hoddle at the helm and a little and large strike force of Mark Stein and Paul Furlong (surely the oddest couple in the league) and then gasped through the 90's at the influx of talent. First Hughes, then Gullit, Vialli, Di Matteo, the one true footballing G-d Gianfranco Zola .... the list of stars just went on and on .... and oh the football we saw. First the FA cup, rightfully secured by a Chelsea true blue - Eddie Newton - after the Di Matteo wonder goal. Then the League cup and my own personal moment of synchronicity. On 13th May 1998 at about 3pm my daughter Amelia was born and at around 21.15 that night, as she lay curled up in my lap, Zola came on as sub in the European Cup Winners Cup to score the winner with his first touch.

It looked like things were just getting better and better. I was behind the goal when we dismantled the mighty Barcelona in our first proper shake at the the European cup (the cup that we weren't allowed to enter back in 1956 - what might have happened if that team had played in Europe ?) and watched Wise go uo to lift the FA cup at the last ever final at "the old" Wembely. But it didn't last and the standards started to slide - I liked Ranieri but again the play was typical Chelsea, flamboyant one minute and infuriatingly abysmal the next. How ironic that he would loose his job at the end of our most successful league campaign since 1955 but that was ultimately down to the same Mr Abramovich that I mentioned earlier.

So what has this journey taught me so far - well, I don't need to justify my Blue Credentials and I'm going to stop. I know where I've been and I've felt the highs, lows and every shade in between. If the saying goes that you can choose your friends but you cant choose your family, then in football terms you cant choose your club - it chooses you and once that choice is made there's no going back - you're there through thick and thin. So when people talk about all the money at Chelsea now I simply smile and say "well, I've already been to Hull and back - so that nice Mr A can spend as much as he likes - I've earned it"

Come on you Blues

New Home

Here I am on Blogger - slowly moving my stuff across and getting used to the format this may take a while

A bit about me