Big Brown question marks.
Overarching feeling of the week.
I’m really sick of big brown question marks. A couple of awkward/bad situations this week have made me think that the whole thing has been pants. But that’s not the whole picture, there’s actually been a ton of good stuff too — see below.
I had a few good meetings/calls/hangouts with new people this week and, considering I hadn’t met most of them before I think I did a good job of creating the beginnings of some really good working relationships. The conversations were free-flowing and felt productive. Little shoots.
I’ve never taken stock of that before but it is something I’m good at. There, I said it.
Atique and I delivered the workshop that we had been designing for some external teams on Wednesday morning. Despite some technical hitches it went well and it was a good all-round discussion.
The colleague who we arranged this for has offered to set up an ongoing user research “peer support” group for the attendees, which is absolutely awesome. I love that we’ve been able to influence and also build something which will have a lasting impact.
Some of the attendees came along to One Team Gov breakfast club too which was brilliant. Getting into work for 8.30am meant a rushed and flustered early start, a literal run to the station, and a disheveled start for me. I wasn’t feeling prepared, I was worried I couldn’t do it. But I don’t think anyone noticed, and actually, I‘ve decided that makes the achievement all the greater.
Thanks to Debbie for the moral support x
Top highlight of the week was the launch of the Ethnicity Facts and Figures service. I’ve been working with Caroline (Service Manager) and the team since January. I haven’t been working on it directly, but I’ve been supporting through continuous engagement (GDS Service Assessment speak).
From the moment I woke up in the morning and throughout the day, this was all over the news, and I feel really lucky to have worked on something so important. I’m probably not as excited as the team on it’s launch, but I’m still pretty excited.
It’s been such a journey, observing user research, seeing the hundreds of prototypes, how the team have engaged far and wide and how that has made the service better. Its been really inspiring to see this team working, a pleasure to run Service Assessments for, and the result is great.
If you want to hear what was said about the service in the House of Lords, you can watch below:
I also met (number one esteemed colleague) Julie for breakfast on Thursday which was lovely, and then walked to work through St James’ park which I haven’t done for a while, and should do much more regularly.
My feelings about what is important in leadership have really been cemented following some strained/awkward situations I’ve witnessed this week.
Valuing people, their skills, their ambitions. How important it is to consider that in everything you do. And, to consider your communication and what happens when people discover things second hand, through overhearing, or through piecing information together.
When you don’t consider those things, you really really harm people’s morale, their opinion of you as a leader, and their willingness to want to do more.
Plan for Next week
On Monday I’m spending the day with Dan and his team at Parliament Digital Service as part of my “Being Nosy” downtime project, which you can read about here (and which actually I would have put in the achievements section if that section wasn’t already a bit overloaded). I’m looking forward to doing something different, it will be really interesting.
Strange week with a WFH day on Tuesday because I need to take the little one to the hospital. Wednesday is the only day in the office and then Policy School Thursday and Friday.
So the plan is, try not to fall behind, try to keep some space in the days I’m in the office, try not to succumb to policy-based imposter syndrome.
- Brought three external people along to breakfast club
- Brought Atique along to breakfast club, his first time — he enjoyed it
- Signed Luke up to attend the Reimagining Public Service event next week (still so upset I can’t make it)
- RTs and mentions
Ideas for blogs / Things I’m thinking about
Please get in contact if you have any thoughts on these or would be interested in drafting a blog together. Collaborative blogs FTW!
1.Weeknoters consultancy. Something I’ve struggled to get out of my head since Dan mentioned it in Ep32 of his weeknotes. My downtime project is a small first step towards this in my head, but there is still more to do, going is slow but we will get there.
2. Lets fund teams not projects. Haven’t had time to write anything!
This great thing about brining procurement in to multidisciplinary teams.
This great short video by Rae Earl (writer of My Mad Fat Diary which I love).
It was World Mental Health day so there were lots of amazing blogs and articles, stand outs were this by James
And this by DavidBuck
I would love to write something but I’m working it through at the moment and working out how I can say what I want to say. It might take some time.
And last but by no means least, this: