(Continuing a blog post by Charlie Beckett at http://www.4ip.org.uk/recasting_the_net)
It relieves me greatly to see that perhaps there is a certain level of expectation, scrutiny and responsibility that comes with labels and recognised industry awards.
What on earth am I talking about?
Whether this is a blessing, recognition for previous work done, or a curse- none the less, I’m number 46.
Quite what this means remains to be seen. But, following Dermot’s speech, it sparked an idea in my head to follow on from his words “We expect these 50 recognised leaders to do exactly that- lead by example.”
After all, what is the point of being recognised for either good work done, or showing promise to do good work, if the people recognised on the list don’t actually do anything significant for the good of our city?
How do we, the Birmingham population (residential and business) know who these people really are? What do they really do? How are their decisions affecting my life? How are these people going to communicate their work, aims, projects and successes to me, and more importantly, how are they going to engage with me when their projects are developing and running, so I can be involved?
Perhaps some are a little too big?
Perhaps some of the people named on the list just see their name there as a ticket to more free lunches. Perhaps (and I hope this is the case) that most of the people on the list feel inspired to do more good work, and show evidence that they rightly deserve to be nominated as a recognised leader, engaging with the population wherever they can in their chosen area of expertise.
Scrutiny? Isn’t that a bit demanding and just a finger-pointing exercise, a platform to stick the knife in and twist the blade at every possible opportunity by the competition?
Or is it a showcase opportunity to prove that the nomination hasn’t been wasted, and you’re not just another Snake Oil salesman? Let’s see…
So, following on from Dermot’s speech, and supported by welcome words of “Leadership, promise, skills, engagement, development and action” from Marc Reeves of the Birmingham Post, I happened upon the 4iP website, read Charlie Beckett’s blog, and then read Pete Ashton’s thoughts.
How do we hold these people to account for their recognised position?
How do we track some of the work these people do?
How do we prove that they were the right choices to be on the list, or not?
Or, is the Power 50 list just a back slapping exercise for a select few?
In probably the only way I know how, I’m going to try to find out, and start on a fact-finding journey.
Who are these people on the list really?
What makes them tick?
How do they communicate?
How do they lead?
What impact do they really have?
Are their reputations really as successful as they’ve been portrayed?
This investigative journey may see me welcomed with open arms, doors slammed in my face, or negotiations twisted and manipulated by red tape and gatekeepers, There may be flat refusal to cooperate, or there may be some shining beacons that show true leadership. Only time will tell.
Armed with a basic video camera and laptop, I’m hoping to find out exactly who these people are, what they really do, and how well do they really perform.
I’ve got less than 12 months to complete the project. This could be a little too ambitious, especially given that there are 50 people on the list, and to do this project justice, I’m going to need to visit each person twice.
At this point, I’d like to thank the Birmingham Post and Dermot Finch and Centre for Cities for their agreed support. Birmingham Future- you’re next on my list.
Hopefully as the project grows, there will be support from others… (feel free to contact me)
If you’re on the list, and you get a phone call, please don’t bite.