So the other week I was lucky enough to attend the Local Government Association event on Customer Led Transformation, and to hear several top quality speakers talking about how the LGA programme had made a difference in their work. As ever I came home with a notebook full of ideas and follow ups, and the pleasant buzz you get from hanging around with bright, motivated people who are different to the bright, motivated people you usually hang around with.
And as ever, the life-changing event happened over coffee and ham sandwiches during the lunch break. One of the speakers, Carrie Bishop of FutureGov, happened to mention to me the Accelerator programme they’re running in conjunction with HubLaunchpad, and then she said the magic words; “You seem like the sort of person who has some ideas. Maybe you should apply …”.
Well, dear reader, I tried to demur but obviously she had me rumbled. I am that person. I do have ideas. Not all of them are great, some of them are rubbish, a couple are perhaps a bit extreme (I still hold by Light Sabre Mock Fight Monday though, that’s a gem and I’m not giving up on it).
But anyway, back to the point. I came home, I shared my notes, I followed up the follow ups, and then I went to the Accelerator programme web page and I started thinking. I looked at my notebooks and at the ideas I’d written down in case I ever had the time to pursue one, and there sitting in a corner of a page was The One; a quick scrawl of something that occurred to us during a particularly productive Geek Wonk Interface.
So far so good … but now what? The programme is designed to take public service ideas with the potential to have a strong social impact, and support them through to a viable model that either earns money or realises significant savings. This means several months of intensive coaching, networking and of course good old fashioned slog to create what is effectively a business. So that means spending half the week in London, and the whole of the week thinking and acting like a business owner.
Right then. 3 conversations followed; one with my family, one with my manager, and most crucially one with my colleague Martin. After all if I’m going to jump into an insane venture with no guarantee of success I’m not gonna do it alone, right? That would just be silly.
So here I am with a nebulous business idea, a kiloton of persuasion and a distinctly nervous chain of command, dragging everyone along behind me while I work it out as I go. It can’t fail, right ? I’m visualising the book deal right now.
I’d say, wish me luck … but mostly I reckon I’m going to need energy, and the intelligence to recognise an opportunity when it bites me.