‘The Greg’ Journal, Day 4

29 July 2011 / by Ashley Freeman

Wednesday 27th July, Day 4

‘The Greg’ went to my local church this morning, otherwise known as the Motorbike Hire Centre of Wandsworth, to confess that my overly zealous riding may have been responsible for the blown gasket, and that I now needed temporary transport. Members of the public would generally be required to present both a driving licence and passport at this stage – a process that does not apply to ‘The Greg.’ A steely glare and slight nod of the head is sufficient proof to confirm my identity and seal the deal.

Moments later, I was astride a Honda CBF600, a far cry from my Kawasaki ZX6, but certainly better than that public transport sauna!

First stop of the day was Claire Yates at Betfair in Hammersmith, who managed to fit over 20 fantastic hints and tips into just 100 words – what were the odds of that! ‘The Claire’ is also a fellow biker, so we discussed the joys of powered-two-wheelers (PTWs, for those in the know) and the importance of wearing garish protection. So, when it came to taking the photo Claire insisted on rebranding ‘The Greg’ in full Betfair attire, with branded fleece jacket and scarf – perfect for the summer! They even gave me the scarf to keep as a reminder of my visit (I think it may have been a bribe to try to get their hands on the iPad…’The Greg’ does not do bribes).

‘The Greg’ and Claire

From Hammersmith, I headed down to Frimley to meet the delightful Catherine Rennie at Siemens. She has created a brilliantly innovative tool to support line managers’ engagement with their teams. I was lucky enough to be given a live demonstration and I have to say that even I was impressed, which is another fantastic achievement Catherine! From Frimley, I jumped onto the M3 and headed south to Eastleigh.

‘The Greg’ with Catherine

Ah…the M3, with your subtle curves, sparse traffic and well stocked service stations…how ‘The Greg’ adores you! I made good progress through the light traffic, though the lack of any fairing on the hire bike meant that I had to keep the speed below warp factor 3 (well, for the most part). The average speed camera’s also tried to impede my progress, but there’s nothing average about ‘The Greg’ so I assumed they didn’t apply to me.

In Eastleigh, I met up with Nicolette Cotterill from B&Q who told me about some exciting changes on the horizon and shared with me her case study about an online video blog on which leaders are able to share behaviours and ways of working. Another effective piece of work now added to this ever increasing document.

The Greg and Nicolette outside the shiny new B&Q office

From Eastleigh, ‘The Greg’ headed over to Fareham to visit Simon and Jodea at Zurich. Comedy gold from Jodea with some more examples of jargon, and Simon added a great middle managers engagement case study, which allowed the smooth transition to a new and potentially controversial process for office based teams. Another offer of a thinly veiled bribe was made, this time in the form of red strawberry laces. They matched the branding of the leathers, but I’m afraid that this finely tuned machine cannot run on pure sugar and E numbers, so I was forced to decline.

‘The Greg’ with Jodea and Simon

After Fareham, I headed to my final call of the day, to Siemens again, but a different office, this time in Poole. On arrival I was greeted by a 12′ high traffic information sign welcoming ‘The Greg’. As the lump in my throat subsided and a solitary tear froze against my cheek, I began to appreciate this fantastic way to greet someone who has been on the road all day. This was a seminal moment for ‘The Greg’ as I became overwhelmed by this feeling of gratitude for the first time, ever! It was very much appreciated, as was Lisa Gwinnell’s case study on accelerating change after a restructure.

‘The Greg’ with Lisa

To all my followers, heartfelt apologies for the delay in sending out this latest blog, but I appreciate all of your support. This is a rather softened ‘The Greg’, signing off…