Paying tax is important. And fun.

While tax isn’t everyone’s first choice of topic for dinner party discussions, it really should be. Because tax is important. And paying tax is important. It is how we fund the things that our society needs. Like healthcare, roads, defence and environmental protection. And so, with this week being Fair Tax Week, I thought I’d take a few moments to talk about Sockmonkey’s own approach to paying tax fairly.
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From data to action

I’ve been working with one of my clients recently to help them to put together a strategy and action plan for an area in which they’d like to see some improvement. They knew what they wanted to do, but they were struggling to get the necessary senior people on board. Not because they didn’t have great ideas. And not because they didn’t have the data to back up their ideas. But because they weren’t using the data in a convincing way. Continue reading

Embracing technology

I’ve always been a bit ‘old school’. I like the reassurance of having a hard copy of important documents. I like the act of writing with a decent pen in a good notebook. I like to know that I’ll still be able to function if the battery in my phone dies. But since I started Sockmonkey eight years ago, I’ve become increasingly interested in how I can use technology to help me to get more done. And I’d like to take a few minutes to share some of the apps that I’ve found to work well for me, in the hope that they might work well for you, too. Continue reading

Calling all sportspeople…

This survey is now closed. Thank you to all those individuals and clubs who submitted a response. I’ve very grateful for your participation in and engagement with the study.

I’m currently working with Sport England to help the organisation to review the effectiveness of its ‘Clubmark’ sports club accreditation scheme and to explore options for its future operation.

We’re keen to know what sports clubs and activities think about the scheme and how they feel it could better support them. To this end, we’ve developed a short online survey for all sports clubs and activities, regardless of whether or not they have engaged with Clubmark.

If you’re part of a sports club or activity, or know someone who is, please make sure your club completes the survey. It’ll take less than ten minutes and will help Sport England to provide your club and your sport with the support it needs.

You can find the survey here.

Learn how academic workload modelling can work for you

Academic workload modelling is an approach to understanding how members of academic staff spend their time when they are at work, from teaching and research to management, administration, academic citizenship and other activities.

It’s one of those things that universities and other higher education institutions and providers frequently feel that they should be doing, without really being sure why. And when they have a model, they’re not always entirely sure what to do with it.

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This is why I’ve written the Sockmonkey Guide to Academic Workload Modelling.

This how-to guide seeks to lift the lid on the workload modelling process, to consider what a workload model can – and cannot – achieve and to explore how an effective workload model can be developed in practice.

It also, critically, looks at how institutions can use their workload models to improve what they do, to be more efficient in how they work and to bring about positive change for their people.

The guide is free to download in PDF form.

I’ve also developed a basic workload model template in Microsoft Excel format, which institutions can use to get a feel for how a model might work. You can download the template here.

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I’ve released it under a Creative Commons license, so you can also play around with it and tailor it to your own needs.

And I’ve developed a suite of support packages for individual academic departments, faculties or institutions, too, which help them to design, develop and implement robust workload models. You can read about these packages and how they could help you in this brochure.

Please do let me know if you find the guide and/or the template useful. And if you’d like to discuss workload modelling in more detail, or to share your own experiences, don’t hesitate to get in touch.