Thursday, 17 June 2010

Taking time to smell the roses

My morning got off to a civilised start. I breakfasted in my garden and admired the roses. June is the month roses are at their best and this year I think they are even better than last year. My Aunt in the States, Wendy, says one should take time to smell the roses, and so I try, I really do, and this morning I managed it.

At the other end of the day I am still in the office catching up on the hundreds of emails I got today, no change there then. I have also been asked to await a call from Channel 4 news who want we to comment on the Future Jobs Fund. I am happy to do so as it has enabled us to create the next generation of social entrepreneurs in London, 500 in all. My hope is that whatever work program follows will be as dynamic and importantly recognise our sector as this did. To my mind this was the first initiative any Government had designed specifically around civil society and with it we proved how responsive and successful we can be. More would be good, as we all agreed getting young people into work is a top social priority.

As we weather the perfect storm of growing social need against the backdrop of diminished resources I am more convinced than ever that we need a system of social impact measurement. Cuts cannot just be made on the basis of cost, if they are, things will go that represented greater savings down the line. To be really clever about this and make the new epoch one where innovation is fostered, we need to start talking about value. I have a piece in the Guardian Public on Monday which I hope throws some light on the subject.

Talking of the Guardian I spoke at their Procurement Conference yesterday. I made a complete balls of getting there, heading to the O2, mistaking that for the Excel centre! I can be completely batty at times. Thankfully I had set of with plenty of time to spare so I wasn’t late. It was an interesting debate although I’m not sure what people were able to hear in that huge auditorium, as I said in my opening address, it was a bit like performing on Paddington Station. What with the Ernst and Young gig on Monday it’s been a long week, I’m looking forward to a bit of gardening. My strawberries have started coming in, and in either of my green spaces, allotment or garden, God is in his heaven, and all is right with the world.

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