Where has January 2014 gone?

Here I am sitting in the kitchen on Friday 31st January, realizing that the first month of the year has already passed. The month has seen:

  • The New Year celebrations and back to the grind of work with a bang
  • Flooding across the UK and the worst rain for a long time
  • I had to complete a tax return – again – and pay back some tax to the government
  • Ella’s 17th birthday, her first driving lesson, and Dad taking her for a skiing lesson [last night] all the way to Milton Keynes
  • A long term friend and associate dying after a long term battle with cancer

And what have I achieved? I have started to use this as a platform to share my thoughts, musings and also words and pictures that mean something to me. Work has sucked the creative spirit out of me – well one person has.

On the plus side, I have continued to mentor at Aylesbury P and that has kept my spirits up. I have started to research courses on counselling and I am planning to change my habits to do more writing – at least at the weekends. So, for January 2014 a roller coaster month of highs and some lows, but overall, a good start to 2014.

What has your first month of 2014 been like?

Obit for Steve

I was contacted by Kris Oldland from Field Service news for some words to ad to an article on Steve. These were the ones I wrote:


There are few people that positive inspire you from the moment you meet them, Steve Downton was one of them. Having met Steve in the late 90’s when working at HP, we kept in touch over the years and collaborated on numerous projects. Steve was THE customer services expert that you could always count on. He would bring a customer centric, “out side in”,  up to date, content rich, but most of all pragmatic approach to how to deliver excellent profitable customer services. Most of all he was a gentle, warm and genuine person to know and I and many others miss him greatly.

Farewell to a friend

I heard via facebook yesterday that Steve Downton had passed away on the 19th January 2014 after a 10 year fight with cancer.

I remember the first time I met Steve. It as just after the merger of HP & Compaq and my boss Dave Stubbs [ex-Digital] invited Steve into the Compaq/HP office in Reading. The one with the large “road” running down the middle of the office. We discussed the need to drive step change improvements in the service industry and I was pleasently surprised at Steves passion for service excellence. Something he never lost.

Years later we reconnected when I started working in Fujitsu and I wanted to help Steve drive the service excellence agenda and actively supported him with presentations, market research and even web casts to help share news, insights and how people could lead the change.

I knew Steve was ill and late last year he cancelled the last Service Management conference that he was going to host. The previous meeting had seen a presentation from Laurie Young, a services industry marketing veteran, who suddenly died due to a heart attack.

I will attend Steve’s funeral next Monday 27th January. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and I will forever miss a great friend, change agent and service excellence driver.

steve downton




Three Focal Words for 2014

My three focal words for 2014 are:

Zone – every day I will create, write and put myself into the creation zone. Whether this is typing, writing or via the spoken word

Live – have a life style that benefits both myself and my loving family. Simplicity and caring for others.

Laugh – craft laughs both at work and at play. After all we all have to have fun.

What are your words for 2014? With many thanks to Chris Brogan for starting this for me back in 2010…. http://www.chrisbrogan.com/ to check his out.