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Leadership advocate of the month: Gerry Baker

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Leadership advocate of the month: Gerry Baker, Digital Project and Delivery Manager at Norfolk County Council

Earlier this year I took part in the Top Talent programme at an interesting point in my career; I had recently transferred into an Information Management and Technology (IMT) role from a position in a business delivery. I was unsure about how IMT focused it would be and was this just another ‘how to manage’ type of course  – I could not have been more wrong!

What happened?

After challenging my first impressions, the programme was an excellent mix of skills and experience, delivered in a highly professional and engaging way. The most powerful elements of the programme for me were:

  • Enabling a set of skills and thinking that allows for much better analysis of situations to provide a clarity of solution and approach that works for both the IMT technical areas of a business and also the business delivery end
  • Simple tools that enable complex situations to be distilled into ‘conversational’ elements that allow all participants to understand and agree the way forward
  • Also understanding my own behavioural and learning style more in order to accommodate others
  • That we all have similar issues and problems and there is a really good support network out there across Socitm. Don’t overcomplicate things and don’t be afraid to make decisions.

How I’ve been able to apply what I’ve learned

Previously I was a consumer of IT services, but moving into an IMT project manager role where I need to deliver to a business requirement, the programme was invaluable in providing me with skills to understand and empathise with a range of opinions and requirements. I now find myself much better at ‘bridging the gap’ between technical and business areas, and finding solutions that allow projects to progress at pace. All of which has enabled me to move a large digital transformation project along at a pace that is very satisfying. By using some of the skills acquired at Top Talent it’s helped me gain universal business support.

Get involved and join in

Leave your inhibitions at the door – this is a safe and thoroughly enjoyable experience. I was thinking about retiring, but am really enjoying things again!

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