I just went to a 90 minute meeting, the inaugural discussion of the Workstream 4: Staff Motivation, Engagement and Communications. It was actually much more lively and interesting than anyone might imagine, and I left thinking that at long last, the Executive sections might see its employees as colleagues rather than whinging minions.
One of the things we discussed was the difference between marketing and communications - not always apparent here: the university Twitter and Facebook feeds certainly don't engage in conversations, and we're often informed of decisions rather than consulted about them. We all agreed that this was A Bad Thing.
Then I return to the office to find a memo. It runs (paraphrased) as follows.
1. There's going to be a consultation about the university's electronic platforms.
2. You'll be using the new version of PebblePad.
3. Er… that's it.
See what I mean? Even if I didn't think PebblePad makes Alan Sugar's Amstrad stuff (my parents, late to the new media game, bought one and even they thought it was a plastic turd) look modern and user-friendly, this is exactly the problem. Someone somewhere in the university, probably the people who invented PebblePad and failed to sell it anywhere else, took a decision that affects students and staff without eliciting any opinions from those who use it. My school's blameless management gets to make the announcement. Bad moods all round.
Talking of crap software - did anyone have Barcode Battler? PebblePad's designers must have been fans…