In Bruges, Leadership and cucumber is not the only fruit

What would you do in Bruges? Sample some beers, appreciate the fine architecture, consume some moules and frites or view some of the stunning art they have there? Or would you go and view and discuss cacti with other people, whom I believe are mainly bearded,in a windswept out of season Belgian seaside resort? Mark Plumer has chosen to do the later. Yes, he is attending ELK at Blankenberge near Bruges which is the ‘largest international meeting of cactus and succulent plants enthusiasts’. I don’t know what a ‘succulent plant’ is and maybe I don’t want to but I know they have a major sale of cacti at the event so maybe he will bring the team one back. He will probably be at home as I did read in an article that ‘Belgium has long struck me as Britain’s spiritual twin. Chiefly, because they are the only other Europeans who seem to be made consistently furious by alcohol’.  Anyway I now promise to leave Mark alone as he has featured in two blogs in a row and may refer me to HR or his mum. BTW ‘In Bruges’ is a really good film. 
You may have noticed that I was absent for most of this week. There is a really good reason for this as I was on the Leaders at Tesco course Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. It was a good course, if at times a tad uncomfortable as a lot of the course required self awareness and reflection which can be difficult when you look at your weak points. However, a really big part of being a leader is being aware of your weaknesses and understanding what to do about them. In the spirit of openness I have put up the feedback I received from my peers in the digital area – it covers what I should do more of, what I should watch and a word or picture that represents me. Rafaele Petruzzo our Head of Innovation attempted to draw an actual picture of me, which is the stuff of nightmares. I think he misunderstood.
The leadership skills we covered were Collaboration, Empathy, Innovation, Responsiveness and Resilience. These are skills that obviously don’t just apply to Tesco but are invaluable to anybody’s career. I will of course be sharing the course material with the wider team but if you want to know more about the skills there is a drop in session being organised by Personnel on 11th September. I believe it will be in the canteen so keep an eye out. They have told me that there will be biscuits, so you can expect to see me there!
I also met some really good people on the course and have extended my network. There are some dividends from this already – I will be organising with Angela Jamieson a visit to one of our Call Centres in Glasgow for the grads, I will go myself and I have requested that Ed Hughes from Treasury comes in and gives us a presentation on what the treasury function does. 
You will of course have noticed that the office is getting a little crowded. In one way this is a good sign as it is a visible demonstration that we are managing to attract the talent, however, if you don’t have anywhere to sit it can be little frustrating. Therefore, to alleviate the situation and give the grads somewhere to sit I have decided to vacate my desk. Instead I will be floating around and sitting wherever there is a space. You can maybe look forward to me sitting next to you at some stage in the future. 
Its great to live with somebody who knows everything….I think they are collectively referred to as ‘women’. I have one at home and on reading my blog last week she pulled me up on my reference to cucumber as a vegetable. It is not, it is a fruit. This blog would like to apologise and assure all readers that we take accuracy seriously and will endeavour to ensure no inaccuracies creep into future editions. 
I would like to ask that all those in the team who indulge in dangerous sports at the weekend desist immediately. In fact can I ask that the most strenuous activity you indulge in is to walk around the park and throw some bread to the ducks. The reason I request this is because Iain Frame came off his bike at the weekend and was lucky to only have to work at home on Monday – this is not good for velocity! He is happy to show you his gravel burn but be careful he may attempt to show you all of it. In fact if starts undoing his belt run. 
I am really not a fan of email particularly when you have to consume it through a VDI solution- I prefer phone or face to face, so this looks like bad news for me. According to these guys email isn’t going away but they are going to make it better – what do you think?  
Is Buzzfeed going all serious, will this be another large nail in the coffin of the traditional media industry?
I am not sure the search engine is terrifying. My view is the lack of security around networked products is certainly much more scary. 
The Middle Classes. I am probably a member. Well here are some of them taking to Twitter to quite rightly complain about some of the shocking things they have to put up with. 
They are a little petty in my view. Its not like any of them mentioned serious issues like when they run out of Pellegrino in the Tesco 7-11 around the corner from my flat or the fact that they don’t sell any of those nice tins of artisan white tuna like they do in Waitrose!
Have a good weekend everybody. 
PS if you want to read the full article from which the Belgium quote comes from it can be found here 

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