Our February Leadership Academy advocate



Top Talent, where do I begin….?  I was relatively new to leadership roles within my workplace and felt I could do with improving my leadership skills.

I had attended internal training courses, which were a good foundation, but I felt that I needed a course which was more in depth.  I had heard of the programme through other colleagues who were graduates of previous Top Talent courses and I’d also taken the opportunity to research the course from the Socitm website and spoke with others further about the course and what it would deliver for me as a leader.  After gathering the more information, I decided to apply for the course.  The course was terrifically set out all the way from receiving the invites for applicants to apply, to the graduation dinner!

The application process allowed me to self-reflect on my own skills and build a picture of where I needed to improve.  During the workshops and the separate coaching that is received, I was able to identify key areas where I felt I needed to improve my skills, self-belief and confidence. This was facilitated by reviewing our personal values and beliefs, through the discussions and the role-playing exercises.

Having attended the programme,  allowed me to step forward to present feedback about our experiences at the Soctim Scotland Conference; something completely outside of my comfort zone!  In doing this, it has allowed me to begin to challenge myself and improve on my leadership skills.  Skills I had, but never utilised fully.  This is no longer the case!

I believe the benefits of attending this course has allowed me to improve my own skill set but also enabled me to grow.  At the time of the course I was the Team Lead for ICT Support, And now, since the course, I have developed my leadership skills to focus on not only managing the ICT Department, but also other areas within the Council.  I firmly believe that without participating in this programme I would not have been able to gain the promotion to my current post within East Dunbartonshire Council as Digital & Shared Services Manager, responsible for ICT, Internal Shared Services and the
Revenues & Benefits Teams.

It was a great experience and one that I would recommend to anyone wishing to
enhance their leadership skills within government and to grab with both hands!

By Gavin Haire
Digital and Shared Services Manager at East Dunbartonshire Council

Our February Leadership Academy advocate

Five lessons in five days at PyCon UK 2016


By Carl Newton (pictured above, blue T-shirt), Socitm Web and Digital Development Manager

Here at Socitm HQ, we have two developers who are masters in the art of making web thingys. I am one of those developers, and I build and maintain web thingys all over the shop in order to support our services. For instance, socitm.net is our long-standing flagship website. The Women in IT site is another example of a website we built. We have some internal web apps too, such as our purchase order management system, which we called ‘Spom’, much to the disapproval of everyone, ever. But we strongly believe in the ‘We made it; we name it’ rule, which any parent of a child named ‘Harley Quinn’ will tell you, is a just and fair rule indeed.

Continue reading “Five lessons in five days at PyCon UK 2016”

Five lessons in five days at PyCon UK 2016

The digital elephant is dancing in the room…


By Steve Cliff, Socitm Associate Director and independent consultant

It’s not often you get to link an elephant to digital transformation, but hear me out. According to Indian folklore, there was once a group of people from different religions who couldn’t agree what God looked like. So Buddha asked his disciples to find a magnificent elephant, and bring in four blind men who were each asked to guess the object. One blind man touched the elephant’s leg and said ‘it’s a pillar’. The second man its felt its ear and said ‘it’s a piece of cloth’. The third touched the tail and said ‘it’s a rope’. The last one patted the elephant’s stomach and said ‘it’s a wall’.

Continue reading “The digital elephant is dancing in the room…”

The digital elephant is dancing in the room…