Christopher’s Golden Jubilee Secondment #2
It has been a good few weeks since my last blog post and I thought it was about time to share an update.
What have I been up to you might ask? Well, as much as some colleagues think it is all about looking after Pandas and Tigers, the reality is that I have been head down ploughing into research and learning new skills, to help influence my Golden Jubilee Trust Secondment. I have been away training and gained a qualification and spent time investigating what good project management looks like. The great news is that my first draft output has been delivered to the Executive here at the zoo and phase two is in progress.
So, what have I delivered so far? Put simply, a process, a series of documents has been generated and what has been great to see is some of this is being road tested already! This first draft is helping to challenge the thinking of what needs to happen with projects and, with feedback, this will help shape the final set of documents later this year.
There has been more though that I have learned, and I thought I would share some thoughts on what it is like immersing yourself into another organisation as that has been a fab experience.
For 26 years all I have known is John Lewis. There is a danger with this that you lose touch with the "outside" world. Whilst I work hard to keep myself abreast of what is happening in the outside world, I can safely say nothing is as good as grasping an opportunity such as this. It has been refreshing and invigorating to get involved with something outside John Lewis. It has also been fascinating to see the similarities in the challenges faced by both organisations. Whether it is how to drive footfall or striving to increase service, whether it is managing our costs or increasing productivity, the reality is we all must work smarter to make our business' a success. I have seen first-hand that, it doesn't matter if you are a charity or a retailer. We face very similar hurdles.
Whilst it is not a surprise that an unrelenting focus on your customer, coupled with the delivery of a great experience is vitally important, it must be supported by continuously driving your business forward to work more efficiently. Something which is both challenging and rewarding.
Looking to the next phase of my secondment, I hope to be able to drive forward the efficient working piece and I am excited to see how the draft documents I have created develop following feedback. I will need to support colleagues in using them on live projects, as it will feel different, but I am confident that the process can make a difference.
I am of course still needing to ensure my juggling of the day job stays consistent. It goes without saying that I have fabulous, supportive colleagues through which this secondment is made more straight forward. Thank you.
As for next steps, I am leading a session at the Highland Wildlife Park next week for a group of RZSS leaders, delivering a session to look at driving service and experience for the visitors to the Park. I can't wait and look forward to the challenge and opportunity to see how I can use my new-found Project Management knowledge to positively influence the organisation.
Keywords: charity, gjt, golden, golden jubilee trust, jlp, john, john lewis, jubilee, lewis, royal, rzss, scotland, secondment, society, trust, zoological
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