Iain Cameron's Diary
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2004-05-11 - 7:49 a.m.

There was a management meeting – which led to a new task. We also had a good discussion about the relationship between skills and the management of liability in the aircraft industry. I found this especially interesting as it is what my father did for a living – managing the corporate responsibility that the aircraft had been made by competent people to an approved design. There was also a discussion about knowledge management where Peter Chatterton’s contribution emerged as absolutely vital – no wonder they made him visiting prof at Hertfordshire.

In the afternoon I tackled the next most urgent task with Steve – some communications and application of number tests – packed into 15 minutes a subject. I got some level 3 QCA approved material and Steve and I examined the methods and questions. It was actually quite easy – which was a relief. It is all part of the Academy Team Leader Training role out – there is a filter on the front of the “train the trainers” module - those tests will be an element of the filter.

So I moved onto the next job starting with summarising a 1999 paper by Geof Mason who I have met a few times. Rather than talking about intermediate skills development infrastructure we usually discuss what happened to jazz at the end of the 6Os. But it seems to me his paper defines the main weaknesses in the infrastructure which have still not been tackled in anything like the right way. Subsequent research details just how bad things are rather than finding new problems or evidence that solutions have been found.

It emerged that 9 June is a critical date – but we need some other feeder events – I would guess 3 – to lead up to that. There is also our Automotive Summit on 26 May – ideally the feeder events need to be in the two weeks after the Summit.

We are meant to be doing scenario planning. I have identified 3 scenarios to use. One is called Sweden – people don’t think of Sweden as an automotive country but it is very successful in its own terms but the industry is small and at the end of the day vulnerable – did I mention this all before – it’s a set of ideas that’s going round in my head.

The whole Skills Agreement process involves 12 papers – not all written by me thank heavens . I wrote paper 8 last week and I have just started on paper 6 with the Mason summary – I have said I will put some material into paper 7 when I can find whose got it. I believe we have to have emerging conclusions for paper 12 within a month . The same process is happening for aerospace, electronics and electrical engineering and the final document will be an amalgamation of the outputs from 4 sectors – which are deeply interdependent. The process flows from a White Paper published last July.

This is a classic example of time compression and concurrent problem-solving – which in itself is the way of the future – the Chatterton innovations help everyone work from a similar information base – which is very important the way things are today.

I saw Peter Chatterton who was in the office for the Academy progress meeting – which fortunately I don’t have to go to. We talked a bit the Lullabies Marketing Plan which is now on its 2nd iteration. It makes sense for me to timetable most of the stuff in that plan for later than 9 June .

I also sent round a note to the 9 June group on supply chain management. Paper 8 shows that this is absolutely critical. There is a new National Occupational Standard in development – the name is POLEMICS. These standards have been around for about 2O years but it has only recently emerged how strategic they are – they underpin the vocational qualification system. There is an online consultation about POLEMICS and we need to get some informed opinion to engage – so some encouragement was issued yesterday

Gavin Gribbon wrote – some material to go with the tape he sent me – I had sent him the article about the Westbound label in Detroit and it turns out that he knew the author when they were both on the mod scene in the 8Os. He said that Gilberts ND covers had been well praised in Record Collector. Also that he had been listening to Blegvad.

I wrote back esp about ND, poetry, Cale and Norah Jones covers.

The tune called Box1 – I am wondering whether to treat in terms of “it happens when it happens” – and on that basis it has happened. That wasn’t the process I used on the Moonchant – which is track 1O on the Dhorn page on Music Making page under the Highveld button. That went through a series – not so much of refinement as exploration. The electroacoustic dimension – well its there this time.

I am surprised Ricardo keeps his temper as well as he does . I know Paul finds that sort of thing wildly irritating The contrast with poetry is very much on my mind – there were disagreements and factions and biased reviews etc. But at the end of the day it was a matter of conviction – continuity of purpose – and sooner or later some intelligent assessment began to get done. Production values were not the overriding consideration.

Laurence phoned – his son is in Seattle with the producer of the first Nirvana album – its amazing isn’t it? We discussed some stuff he is reading and the connection with some people I worked alongside in 74-75 who were very very “advanced” in their thinking. One idea is “natural reasonableness” – the human animal – with exceptions – has a propensity to be reasonable and use reasoning in practical matters.

There is a related idea called procedural rationality which was discovered by Simon as part of his work on bounded rationality for which he got the Nobel Prize. There is a lot of procedural rationality in the 12 paper process.

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