Hello PPMA members and friends,

Since it’s almost Christmas I thought a little personal reflection would be in order….so here is my thought for the week.

Despite it being December and a bit chilly, even in Norfolk, Joe (my 16 year old eldest son)and his equally mad friend Harry roused themselves at 5.30am last Saturday to catch the 6.45am train from Norwich to Cromer to surf what promised to be a pretty good swell. You might think that the most intriguing part of this bold plan was the fact that it was absolutely freezing and why would you want to spend two hours in the North Sea in December, even in a wet suit!  And yes, that is intriguing, not to say baffling! But no, for me the most mind-bending part of the scheme was the fact that Joe managed to get them both out of bed, collect their surfboards and catch a taxi to the station in good time for the train, without any parental help whatsoever. Mind-bending, because it daily requires four attempts and a great deal of perseverance to ensure Joe gets out of bed and to school in good time!

I have been reflecting on this very practical demonstration of the power of motivation and how it translates into the workplace. Of course everyone will put themselves out much more for something they really want to do, bringing their maximum effort and energy to it. And of course there is nothing like the exuberance and sheer craziness of youth.

It made me think though about myself, my team and my colleagues and about all of you out there.  There is huge motivation across the public sector to do the many and varied jobs we all do and to do them well, not perhaps like Joe and Harry for the sheer joy of it, but because we are committed  to making a difference.  Throughout this most challenging of years I know my own team have brought huge effort and energy to their work. I believe we all have, and I am sure you will feel the same about your own teams and colleagues.

I know too that my colleagues on PPMA’s Policy Board and in national support roles have brought an equal amount of energy and effort to their roles in supporting all that PPMA does.

It’s traditional at the end of each year to thank our teams for what they have done in the past year. But thinking about Joe and Harry surfing in the North Sea in December for the sheer joy of it makes me realise just how much we are asking of our teams right now, in terms of effort, energy and the motivation to keep on going.  Something to reflect on, as you say your traditional end of year thanks- this year.

With my very best wishes for a happy Christmas to you all,

Anne