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The Secretariat

The Secretariat (4)

Tuesday, 20 August 2019 12:52

My Life as an Intern at the Council

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'I wish I never have to leave this place' is one of the consistent thoughts that I’ve had for as long as I’ve served here at the council as an intern. To refer to myself as an intern sounds absurd considering the space and the freedom I’ve been granted to blossom. If there is one thing that I have seen and loved completely about the council, it is in the faith they have in everyone as well the equal chances they give. I say this because so far, I have had the opportunity to represent the organization in various delegations and encountered people and places I never thought I would in this lifetime.

I joined the council in June 2019. It was only a minute after I was done with the HR when Mr. Kung’u, the trade program officer at the council, walked in the boardroom where I had been directed to sit looking all set up for a serious venture and said“ Young girl, you’re welcome; what’s your background? If you want, you can join me for a meeting up there to see how we do things around here’’. I was frightened because I thought it was absolutely way out of my understanding and for a minute, I thought to myself,’’ I am going to have to start a business; I possibly can’t handle all of this pressure’’. Either way, I put on a fake smile and followed him. He noticed I was a little uncomfortable and he turned back and told me that nobody came here an expert, we all learnt along the way. I have since clung on to that phrase and it has really kept me going.

That’s how I’ll describe COG; it’s a fast moving high profile organization that appreciates everyone as they are. I have grown in leaps and bounds both professionally and socially. It would be impossible to get there without my colleagues both within and without the department who have been so ready to answer when called upon and have held my hand and guided me as well as emphasized the fact that we are all equal.

My colleagues in the communication department often have this one thing to say ‘’It’s never too late or too early start’’ True to their word, I have figured out that it’s not about how much one has had the experience but their willingness to learn. I have mastered the art of daily media monitoring, photography, social media management, writing meeting reports, media relations and even things that seemed technical like branding, only to mention but a few. More often than not, I take off my intern garment while in my department and put on the communication assistant one because of how they treat me and make me feel truly like one of their own.

Highs and lows are the rhythms of life and I too have had my lows despite all the good moments at the council. I have for instance had to struggle with the bureaucracies that guide operations in the organization, handling various technicalities in the machines as well as getting to really know people. However, as Friedrich Nietzsche said, there will always be rocks in the road ahead of us. They will be stumbling blocks or stepping stones; it all depends on how you use them. I have chosen to see them as stepping stones; as it is said, there are no secrets to success, it is a result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure. All in all,

it has been the best experience and the challenges would be nothing compared to the joy that I’ve to this far as an intern, especially because of the support I’ve garnered from my colleagues.

To cap it all, I would out rightly say that the Council of Governors is the place to be in matters corporate growth. It is in the way things are executed; perfectly and in time. In all these, one is able to grow up as a well trained professional giving the needed services. We can only be grateful to the management as interns for the wings we’ve been given to fly.

Thursday, 06 December 2018 16:19

SEE YOU IN 2019

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The end of 2018 is fast approaching, the 2nd quarter of the financial year 2018/19 ends with it. It is proper practice for any organization to hold their semiannual review at this time of the year.
The Council of Governors Secretariat on 28th-30th November 2018 held their semi- annual retreat to review and determine the strides made and the tasks ahead if it is to fully implement its Annual Work plan for the year 2018/19. The team also had an opportunity to review their priority areas for the remaining half of the year. During the review, the secretariat also held its team building session and end of year party.
The Council of Governors holds a team building session every year to ensure that each time it works like a well-oiled machine. World over, the best organization and companies hold such session where staff can interact informally with each other and encourage collaboration and teamwork among colleagues. Fun activities that help people see each other in a different light allow them to connect in a different setting.
Led by the Chief Executive, directors, managers and staff had an opportunity to engage in activities promoting Communication and working better together, Collaboration and the fostering of innovation and creativity, Celebration, team spirit, fun, and motivation, Networking, socializing, and getting to know each other better.
One of the most powerful reasons for team building is to get results. Through a series of planned team bonding events that are fun and motivational, teams build skills like communication, planning, problem-solving and conflict resolution.
The Secretariat also proceeded to its reggae themed end of year party where staff and committees were awarded. The committee of the year award was scooped by the health committee and the same committee also scooping the team lead of the year – Mr. Meshack Ndolo and rising star of the year Ms. Sheila Yoto from the same committee. The employee of the year award went to Ms. Mary Ashira – CEO’s secretary. Other categories included; special service awards awarded by the organization to head of Security – Inspector Malila and Mr. Wanyonyi - Council of Governors mailman. Members of staff also had an opportunity of appreciating each other for the year that was. They did this by exchanging gifts that one would pick randomly.
At the end of the team building, teams were clear on what they would be focusing in the coming year, how each department must work together with the other to ensure the success of the organization, for there is great strength in unity and teamwork.

The Parklands Baptist Church recognized the Council of Governors for the support and invaluable partnership in the fulfilment of the Great Commission in Kenya and Africa during the 2017 pre- election period. The award was received by a team on behalf of COG by Rose Chebet, Evelynne Bii, Martina Ngira, Mercy Gatabi and Agnes Musyoka during a colourful ceremony held at Parklands Baptist on 16th December on 2017. The Ministry of Health also appreciated the Council of Governors for the support accorded to them to enable them achieve their goals. Health being a devolved function and a very important sector, the County Governments works hand in hand and accord any support necessary to the Ministry of Health to help achieve the main health goal which is 'Better health service delivery to every Kenyan.'

The recognition award was received by the Council of Governors on 28th June 2017.

Wednesday, 01 November 2017 06:40

Council of Governors management and staff switch roles

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Mahtma Gandhi once said, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever”. Acquiring knowledge should not be something meant for those in school alone but for everyone. Spread your wings by learning from others and even those in a different field from your area of expertise. That way you are able to understand what other professionals do or go through.
On Friday 24th October, the Council of Governors Secretariat embarked on a ‘Departmental Switch’, an exercise that is supposed to allow the staff to have an experience of working in other departments and equally to allow them experience what other colleagues in the other departments go through. Everyone had to move away from their comfort zones and explore areas of improvement on service delivery.
Picture this, ‘being served a hot cup of tea, with nicely buttered bread and to add icing to the cake, an apple to complete your breakfast, and guess what? All of it free! Isn’t that wonderful? Now, let’s go a notch higher, the person whose serving your tea, is the Head of HR in your institution and her wonderful team,’ well that, actually happened. Well that’s not all, imagine, being left in your department as the ‘Head of the department’ and you have to give guidance to the CEO of the institution because, this is not her ‘usual’ working day, and she gets to experience your typical day as a procurement officer. What do you imagine goes through your head? ‘May be she will now understand the work I do on a day to day basis’. This actually happened and the CEO actually attended to suppliers, issued supplies to the various departments, received memos, followed up on memos, you name it. While at it, a Governor walks in and expects to find the usual face of the CEO seated on her desk, shock on him, it’s someone else, a familiar face but not the CEO. He went like, ‘Where is the CEO?’ the response, ‘I am the CEO for the day,’’ he nods his head, and walks away, on his way out, he asks for his secretary and is told, that she is operating from the administration department, ‘Why?’ he asks, ‘There’s a Departmental Switch and everyone today is not in their usual department,’ the CEO’s new secretary responds. ‘Well, that makes sense, I was beginning to wonder what was happening to the institution, well can I talk to the CEO?’ he inquires, ‘Yes, the CEO is in the Procurement department and your secretary is in the Administration department.” He moves to the departments and after having a chat with the CEO and his secretary, walks away impressed noting that he must initiate the same concept in his County.
The day goes by as the technical team becomes Communication & ICT experts, lawyers become programme officers, programme officers become lawyers, communication people become finance experts and so much more.
At around lunch time, there are departments that still have very busy schedules and they have to complete their tasks before the close of business but all in all, it turns out to be a very educative, productive and fun day for all the participants and they had something to share and talk about. At the end of the initiative, one of the managers decides to give a treat his new support staff and buys pizza for the team.
As Mrs. Mogeni, the CEO always says, ‘A good organization must operate like a well-oiled engine, the smoother the parts the better it works and as an institution, we play the supportive role of ensuring that County Governments receive the best support and by and large the development of the Country is dependent on the hard work we put.’ In a top down organogram, the ‘Departmental Switch’ allows all the staff to understand and bear each other’s burden, to foster team work and appreciative norm among the staff. The initiative is conducted on a quarterly basis a knowledge sharing activity that enables the staff to learn and understand the connectivity, functions and importance of each department. It also positively enhances communication between departments and between colleagues because it gives people an opportunity to wear their colleague’s hat and their jurisdiction that assures better operations in the institution.
The members of management also need to understand the environment and resources his/her staff have and the lengths they have to go for them to be able to deliver what they do. The employees that have the privilege to interact with the CEO’s office have the opportunity to understand why and how the CEO’s job can be taxing. With good adherence to the recommendations given from the feedback forms, it can be projected that service delivery from the Secretariat will only get better and better