Tuesday, May 22, 2007

What's on your iPod?

An interesting development from a department at the forefront of managerial competence:

Twenty top civil servants in the Home Office have been given top of the range iPods to provide them with lessons in leadership.

In a pilot scheme the department has spent almost £9,000 on the gadgets as part of a “constant” way of finding new means to give staff training.

Home Office officials were last night bracing themselves for a barrage of criticism over the purchase which was described by one source as “a wacky idea”.


Well, if the criticism is on the grounds of cost, I think it will be misplaced. In fact, if you look at the cost of a training session or a paintball weekend for a bunch of mandarins, it would be well over nine grand. As a spokesperson says:
“The capacity on one video iPod represents the equivalent of three days’ worth of classroom training. In addition, material on the video iPods can be recycled, whereas classroom training cannot.”

A Home Office official said that providing iPods to top staff was a much more economical means of providing leadership skills than sending staff on management courses which can cost £1,000 a day.

Fair enough.

However, I am not sure that using the iPod as a learning/teaching tool is particularly effective. I have an iPod and have uploaded a "Teach Yourself Portuguese" CD onto it. Have I listened to it? Well, er, actually guv, not yet.

And the other example of an organisation using the iPod to train its members is also less than convincing:

The Home Office decision to pilot the use of iPods as a way of training staff comes just two months after the England cricket team was able to study footage of the World Cup opposition on their iPods. Mark Garaway, the team analyst, uploaded packages of information about New Zealand on to a central base, allowing players to pick and choose the files they believed would be useful.


England lost that match by six wickets with nine overs to spare. In other words they were thrashed.

If government departments are starting to take their lead from the England one-day cricket team, they may be more badly run than we ever feared.

3 comments:

Colin Campbell said...

Ha Ha.

I have often wondered how the English One Day Team could be be so crap. Welcome to Blogpower.

james higham said...

Thank goodness I don't have an ipod.

Also, welcome to Blogpower!!

Chris G said...

Cheers James, it's nice to finally be on board.