X : Thoughts on private companies being on the boards of ICS (integrated care systems).
Me : Conflict of interest question? Supplier determining needs?
X : Yes
Me : It's ok, as long as
a) you have effective spend control
b) those private companies are JVs which Gov owns 51% of.
X : What if they are not 51% owned JVs?
Me : Ah, that's a bad idea. You really want your boards to have your interests at heart.
X : What about experience, partnership?
Me : Those are advisors and you take it with a pinch of salt and as much as possible use critical friends.
Suppliers will always tell you that they want to be your partners, to build a relationship, to be your friends, to find the win/win in much the same way a second hand car salesperson wants to be your buddy ... but their interests are not yours and never can be.
X : Critical friends?
Me : Occassionaly you can find critical friends. People that we willing to tell you the truth as they see it regardless of the consequences. They are not very common and it normally requires a deep sense of duty that exceeds any loyalty to others.
X : Can the relationship be symbiotic?
Me : Rarely but that depends. If the organisation has a core overiding principle of focusing on the customer need and I don't mean lip service to this but absolutely embedded into its very core then yes i.e. places like Amazon, Alibaba etc.
But most organisations, even those that talk about "focus on customer need" won't sacrifice their own self and their own well being in order to pursue that customer need. They will tend to fall back on self interest in hard times and become parasitic.
"Symbiosis" and win/win are very easy when the times are good, however the real measure of any commercial relationship is when the times are hard.
X : Why spend control?
Me : You always need an independent mechanism of challenge (outside the department and contract but within Government) to provide challenge through expertise and to spread situational awareness across many contracts. An intelligence function.
X : Why?
Me : People make mistakes, they can trapped by context, they don't understand the wider landscape, it's a point of learning ... so many reasons. Also, sometimes you get the revolving door between public / private that you want to counter.
X : Intelligence function?
Me : Yes. An effective spend control function including pre and post mortem challenge should also build up your understanding of the landscape, the supply chains, the interconnectedness of components. That would have been useful in brexit, in covid and in a host of other spaces.

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More from @swardley

21 Feb
X : Are you in favour of capitalism?
Me : That's like asking me whether I'm in favour of Agile? Capitalism is a tool which has an appropriate context. So yes, I'm in favour in its appropriate context. The dogma of using a tool as a "one size fits all" is extremism.
X : So, you're anti-capitalist?
Me : Do you not understand context? I'm in favour of using capitalism in appropriate contexts and using other systems when it is not appropriate. The capitalism vs anti-capitalism debate is as full of religious zealots as agile vs six sigma debate.
... all of these one size fits all dogmas - "our methods is best and works everywhere" - are just examples of extremism peddled by people often with self interest. They do not look to the benefit of the system as a whole.
Read 20 tweets
20 Feb
Oh great, it's bad enough that we have poor GP services, that the vaccine centre is 10 miles away, there is no public transport to it, we only have one bus per week in my area, vaccinations didn't start until end of January etc ... but now ...
... the plan is to centralise hospital services in the area with an empty hospital so that some builder can create thousands of new homes on the old site - this doesn't sound "super" to me - kentonline.co.uk/canterbury/new… ...
... it seems daft given the complete lack of public transport, site will be 30 miles+ for many etc but what happens if we have a major incident on the M20 or the Tunnel?

I can't see this developer led bonanza getting past @MattHancock
Read 4 tweets
20 Feb
Should generate about 20 kWh of solar today which is about 50% of my total power usage. By beginning March I should be back to complete self generation on a daily basis. Need to replace the electric heaters this year, get more efficient systems installed and extend my solar.
X : What's the cost?
Me : Not the point. I'm driven by a need, an intent to put more into the system than I take out. Hence I'm constantly looking to reduce my footprint, to reduce consumption, to drive more generation.
X : Views on solar geoengineering?
Me : Firing particles into the atmosphere to reflect sunlight?
X : Yes.
Me : Absolutely effing mad. We need to scale up renewable energy production, get more efficient in use, kill off fossil fuels completely, plant billions of trees etc ...
Read 12 tweets
19 Feb
Eh @bryanrbeal? No, it's really important that even once vaccinated that you wear masks and socially distance until we understand the effect more, the R number is very low and probably everyone has been vaccinated ...
... there is a world of difference between reducing symptoms (and reducing hospital load) and transmission. We absolutely must get transmission and cases down (hence masks, social distance) for various reasons including the risk of mutation.
And this is not a national thing, it's a global thing. There's little point in vaccinating a single country and hoping borders will stop future problems if the disease is allowed to rampage and therefore mutate in other areas with low levels of vaccination ...
Read 4 tweets
19 Feb
"rushing headlong into Agile without due consideration could hobble rather than improve your business" ... that comment is good ->
To bring you bang upto speed circa 2006 then remember ... no such thing as one size fits all ... i.e.
... take a leaf out of a leading engineering effort (UK high speed rail) that introduced multiple methods in 2012 for building its railway in a virtual world (reducing both cost and time to delivery). Go ask @GoAgileGov ...
Read 4 tweets
18 Feb
Whilst there is debate over causes, the hypothesis is generally considered "reasonable", published by the BMJ from research at UCL ... of course, in this post truth world anyone can declare this as myth, nonsense and "provably untrue" which is itself untrue. It is undecided ->
Alas, this is the problem with unsettled matters. Even with settled matters where scientific consenus is decided, some can always say "prove it" and point to ever more extreme counterfactuals which have to be disproved, slowly, one by one - see climate change.
The same tactics are being used by another group of extremists to try and counter lockdown. Whilst there are counterfactuals, the scientific consensus is reasonably settled on the benefits but that won't stop those individuals from peddling their beliefs as the truth.
Read 7 tweets

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