The benefits of having lost the argument over who should have the long commute with my wife is that I have plenty of time to catch up on podcasts and a bit of work-related listening on the way in (and back). Though the journey itself is routine, it also provides a chance to listen to things that are outside the normal sphere of work stuff, and stretch the brain a bit.
At the moment, there's a few programmes I'd heartily recommend:
1) Guardian Charity Effectiveness Podcast: this time on What makes a good leader? and withan excellent line-up including Debra Allcock-Tyler from DSC and James Partridge from Changing Faces (who is one of the most admired leaders here at SSE). And a bit of SSE representation from SSE Fellow Debbie Ariyo from AFRUCA, phoning in on the lack of diversity in leadership in the sector. All produced by another SSE Fellow Jude Habib's organisation SoundDelivery. Plenty of nuggets here on leadership, challenges ahead in 2011, and keeping focus whilst retaining a long-term view.
2) Peter Day on Not for Profits: Peter Day is a genius, as far as I'm concerned, and have often mentioned his great podcasts about the world of business here before. This episode includes his recent appearance at the Good Deals conference a few weeks back, and looks at the recurring issue of scale. Does the non-profit sector need to become more like the market? Challenging and valuable listening.
3) More Or Less: There are, of course, geeks in the sector, many of whom are operating in the evaluation field (I was delighted to learn on a recent visit to New Philanthropy Capital that they had a feedback form after their Xmas party: that's devotion to the evaluative cause right there...). My own inner geek loves More Or Less, which is all about looking at the numbers behind the stories: this week it looked at the issue of student debt, and how much people would actually pay. The sanest, most reasoned take on that issue heard all month.
4) An interview with Matthew Taylor: Podcasting in the sector is rare, so also been enjoying this recent initiative from Social Investment Business; Matthew Taylor, Chief Exec of the RSA is a really interesting thinker on a lot of big current issues: Big Society, civil society, engagement + membership, citizen-centred social action, the power of networks and more. Very much worth 10 minutes of your time