I’ve got a confession to make. I’ve just had two weeks off.
It normally only happens once a year, during the school holidays, and it goes a long way towards a much needed battery recharge.
ICT is a great place to work, but like any job, it does you good to have a break.
Staying in touch
Normally, I try and spend some time each day quickly looking at emails etc. This time, I decided that I wouldn’t (with the very odd exception).
Which was great, as it meant I focused much more on building sandcastles with my kids (when it wasn’t raining) and less on who was in trouble under the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Back to work
It’s surprising how quickly two weeks can pass. Here I am back at my PC in the office, ploughing through emails and newsfeeds, trying to wade through/absorb all the stuff I have missed whilst I have been paying scant attention to what has been going on in the ‘work’ world.
And that is the reason for this blog. It made me realise something.
Wow. Isn’t there a lot of stuff happens in two weeks ?
Spinning the plates
It won’t just be me. Anybody with a hectic job will find the same, but particularly in the environment within which ICT operates. There really are things happening all the time. It’s taken me having two weeks away to realise how much there is to take in, particularly in respect of areas such as:
- Internal business developments
- Customer relationships
- External ‘environmental’ developments
The first and second points take immediate priority, but it’s the third I thought I’d address here, as it’s particularly pertinent to ICTs programme content and, interestingly, I think puts me in the position of an ICT student - I need to pretty quickly filter through what’s going on, what’s most interesting/important and what can be learned from it.
It seems I have missed a few big ticket stories.
Firstly, in terms of Compliance & Governance, the LIBOR developments (the FSA has commenced a review )and seven more top tier banks have been summoned to the US to face questioning.
Secondly, in respect of AML issues, the Standard Chartered affair has come to light and already been settled , at least in the first instance.
Finally, in respect of broader financial crime, former Polly Peck tycoon Asil Nadir has been found guilty of three counts of theft, and Japanese firm Oki Electric is suffering over accounting issues, reminiscent of the recent Olympus situation.
And that’s just what I’ve caught up with so far.
The point is…
Well, the first point is that there is a massive amount happening which can influence day to day activity within the environment in which ICT, ICA and its members operate. Especially in the age of 24/7 news feeds and social media, where information is king and reaction times are almost immediate.
I’m lucky that part of my role is to monitor this sort of activity, seeing where the concepts we deal with on our programmes occur in practice. It’s not something I have to squeeze in around my ‘day job’ (for the most part). The difficulty is often filtering the vast array of information, deciding which is most important and what we can learn from.
The second point is that despite it often making for a difficult few days when you get back to work, make the most of your holiday time. If a lot can happen in two weeks, think of the fifty weeks until the next one.