Weeknotes S2 Ep03

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Overarching feeling of the week.

A much calmer week with longer gaps between meetings has given me some brain space. I’ve still done little bits of work out of hours, but it’s been manageable flexi-time, not over time.

I’ve been home for toddler bath and bed twice this week which is good.

Achievements

Atique and I did some workshop planning for a session next week. I really enjoy working with Atique because he’s a great researcher, really thoughtful and I always feel like we’ve achieved a lot when we work together. I’m looking forward to running this session with him, and to bringing along loads of people to One Team Gov breakfast club!

I managed to get a job spec out to agencies for a new trainer to join us on a contract basis. The role is just to cover while we recruit, and hopefully we will start that soon. It’s been a really interesting exercise in writing a spec and thinking about how to surface the things which really matter about the role. I hope it is fruitful.

I got accepted onto Policy School. It’s a four day crash course run by Cabinet Office Policy Lab and I think it will be really interesting and useful (and will also help me manage the occasional “digital people don’t know policy” thing).

Yay!

The only let down is that it means that I can’t take part in the One Team Gov Reimagining Public Service Event, because the dates clash. It is going to be an amazing event and I’m absolutely gutted.

Wow, what a rollercoaster.

I managed to get some ideas about D&I over to Conall, they were well received, hopefully I can start to put some of them into action.

Highlights

A strange highlight was a train mess up on Monday which meant I gave up trying to get into London, went to work from a coffee shop for a bit, and then headed home. The meetings in my diary could easily be managed by phone and being away from the office gave me a bit of space to plan my week.

On Wednesday I met Ben for lunch. It was good to talk more about our individual work contexts and how things are going, especially good seeing as we’ve only met once before, felt like we had known each other much longer than that!


Ben’s been giving weeknotes a bit of a break, but I hope he considers coming back soon because I really enjoyed them. Now I’ve realised how close by he works I hope we will meet up again soon. A mini Westminstermidweek-weeknotedrinks perhaps?

Lessons

I had a couple of meetings this week which prompted this tweet:

I had two meetings this week where it quickly became clear that half of the room didn’t have access to the documents being discussed. It meant that some people had more context than others and we spent most of the time just trying to agree the purpose of the meeting.

Even though these weren’t my meetings I realised it’s easy to become complacent. So moving forward I’m going to make sure that there’s an agenda (or objective) for any meetings over half an hour and that all docs are shared with all attendees beforehand. I’m also going to start asking people for agendas before I commit to meetings.

Another lesson, this weeknotes format is killing me a little bit and taking much longer than I thought it would.

Plan for Next week

I’m worried that the headspace I had this week was just a blip and that the coming few weeks look stacked again. I also have time out of the office that I need to take the toddler to Drs appointments, so I have to be able to work work flexibly.

Next week I’m hoping I manage to: retain some of the headspace, deliver a really great workshop, and keep up the momentum on a few other things.


Over the past couple of weeks I have tried and failed to set catch ups/coffees with people. I really wanted to catch up with Jenny at DWP who I met way back in S1 Ep02 at Transforming Together in Bristol (and who has recently started a really great weeknote btw), and Rosie at the Parliamentary Digital Service who got in touch when I was looking for a mentor. I hope I can make time in the coming weeks.

I’m going to meet fellow weeknoter Julie for breakfast on Thursday —so that will be really good.

OTG Microactions

  1. Shared the Reforming Public Service Blog both here (above) and on Twitter.
  2. Preparing to bring guests to next week’s breakfast club (and get up early enough to actually arrive ON TIME!)

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. We’ve started drafting ideas so hopefully will be able to pull something together soon.

2. Lets fund teams not projects. Still planning a little blog with thoughts on this — when I have time to sit and write it!

3. Contractors. As mentioned in S2 Ep03. My thinking has evolved even more since last week.

4. Responsibility. Again, I had some thoughts in S2 Ep03 about feeling responsible for a team, but then I stumbled on this Medium blog:

https://code.likeagirl.io/a-servant-leader-focuses-on-peoples-strengths-2d8fbc456b4c

Last week I said:

I absolutely love my team. We’ve worked hard to create cohesion, I want every single person in it to do well, do better, move on, and do more. I also want that for myself, and these things are hard to reconcile.

While the phrase “Servant Leader” sounds a little silly, the sentiment makes a lot of sense to me.

Read/Watched

Firstly this, which is brilliant and yes. Just brilliant.

https://twitter.com/ermlikeyeah/status/915864944201142272

There have been a huuuuge amount of great posts this week, you will have probably seen a lot of them already, but just in case:

https://code.likeagirl.io/a-servant-leader-focuses-on-peoples-strengths-2d8fbc456b4c

https://code.likeagirl.io/a-servant-leader-focuses-on-peoples-strengths-2d8fbc456b4c
https://code.likeagirl.io/a-servant-leader-focuses-on-peoples-strengths-2d8fbc456b4c
https://code.likeagirl.io/a-servant-leader-focuses-on-peoples-strengths-2d8fbc456b4c

I’ll be honest, I read this ridiculous thing because I thought that it would probably make me slightly angry and I love to troll myself.

https://code.likeagirl.io/a-servant-leader-focuses-on-peoples-strengths-2d8fbc456b4c

But then I discovered that there are several articles like this if you do a google or pinterest search. Looking like an architect is aspirational apparently. Though I tend to think if you want to look like any designer you probably just need the fashion discipline to only wear black but have a really good haircut…

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