What a way to start the new year…

Never did I imagine that I would be involved in opening the London Stock Exchange!

It was a real privilege to represent the Council at the event on Tuesday morning this week.  The invitation to the Council to open the stock exchange was made to us in recognition of the uniqueness of our issuing a bond.  It’s very easy to get lost in the detail of the bond and all its complexity and you’ll be relieved to know I’m not going to get into that here, but I do think we should take a moment to reflect on the fact that we’ve achieved something special and think about how we might now build on it.

Throughout 2016 as a team we’ve put a great deal of focus on all of us across the whole organisation coming up with ideas for change and the ideas hub has been a fantastic platform for capturing theses suggestions as they come forward.  I don’t doubt that there’s still a healthy North East scepticism among some of the team about whether  or not these ideas are listened to and acted on.  As I stood listening to the Chief Executive of the London Stock Exchange commending us on our innovation, I was remembering the conversation I had with Steve Whyte and Neil Stewart back in March last year where they shared with me their idea for a bond issue.  Ten months’ later and we’re opening the Stock Exchange!  An idea from 2 members of staff that culminated in the Council issuing a bond raised £370m.

So be in no doubt, ideas will be listened to.

Of course, all ideas and innovation are important and not all will be of the scale and significance of the bond, but that doesn’t matter.  If you haven’t used the ideas hub before, why not make it your new year resolution to put an idea forward – you never know where it may land.

I’ve enjoyed watching the bond idea grow and I’ve felt particularly proud about how different parts of the organisation came together to make it work.  Standing at the Stock Exchange I was proud to see finance, legal and economic development colleagues working together on behalf of the city of Aberdeen.  And of course, all this innovation took place whilst business as usual was continuing.  I’d like to put on record my appreciation of the work of those who did the extra shifts on the day-to-day business to allow the project team to work on the bond.

So all this tells me that we do have the ability to innovate (big and small) and that for our ideas to come alive we need colleagues from other parts of the organisation to help us bring them to fruition.  I’m looking forward to the next member of staff who says to me Angela, I’ve got an idea…………