Weeknotes S7 Ep08

Timeboxed

Shhhhh.

Hi how are you this week? I’ve got an hour to get these weeknotes out because I was doing other things today which I’ll go into later [1].

As an overview, this week has been strange but good. It’s been very people focused and that’s been lovely. I have, however, needed a quiet day today and I am very grateful for my (ironic) Friday non-working day (that I ALWAYS end up doing non-work, work on) and being able to work on something off my own steam without needing to interact with anyone!

The week has been dominated by two larger events, One Team Gov #BureaucracyHack and our Digital Directorate away day. That was 2 days out of the office and a short-feeling week.

Monday was overwhelmingly filled with meetings so it was a bit of a shock to the system after the weekend, no easing into the week.

I did manage to fit in a soul enriching coffee with emrosebaz, who I have never met before but she was so interested, interesting and welcoming (and we already knew a bit about each other from posting here and on Twitter).

It’s such a nice thing to be able to message someone and to meet for coffee with no other reason than to get to know each other. I really enjoyed it and it lifted my day.

Coffee time

First thing on Tuesday morning I headed over to Nobel House to interview Beck for our One Team Gov “Radical Visions for the Future of Government” work. She was lovely and it was good to chat about the area she is working on (Future Farming) and how data will play a huge part in that. Beck also had great opinions on the future of the workforce and said that we need to take advantage of the skills across the UK and not just in London.

Again, no easing into the week, and a busy day on Monday meant that picking this up first thing on Tuesday morning was more difficult than I’d expected. It’s quite a thing to overcome some of my more awkward awkwardnesses and be thoughtful and positive and questioning to get the best out of people in these videos which are obviously stretching and can be uncomfortable for the participants.

More on this later.

The rest of Tuesday was relatively quiet which I needed.

So tell me about #BureaucracyHack then?

On Wednesday morning I headed over to the Tomlinson Centre in Haggerston where we were holding the hack. I hearby name myself as OTG twitter queen [2] and as such I wanted to document the day and share regularly so that people felt like they could follow along.

You can find lots of pictures and descriptions of the show and tells on our Twitter using the hashtag #BureaucracyHack

I thought it was a really great day, well attended and by a range of people from across departments, across the wider public service, and we even had one attendee come all the way from Italy.

As always James gave a lovely opening and I loved the fact that he put the need for care right up front. It felt inclusive, and buzzy, and people were working, producing things, getting ideas out of heads and onto walls.

I was also there to try and get some more videos for the Radical Visions work, and that turned out really nicely. Jenny and some other weeknoters volunteered, as did Heather from Scottish government who had some interesting things to say about the ageing population and the changes that will bring.

I also met Natalie, who is a policy official in Australian state government, in refugee policy and who’s focus on getting out and engaging with marginalised groups was inspirational. Natalie was considering a move to the UK and I hope we gave her a really good idea of what the UK Civil Service can be.

As per the above, it was really good but takes a lot of putting on some extroversion

I met people I’ve only known via Twitter or Medium before, like Nicky, and James from Nesta, as well as people I haven’t seen in a long time like Richard and Louise which is always lovely.

I also milled around, taking in some of the work strands, and generally helping with things so I was really doing three different things over the course of the day. It was tiring, as was the long walk along the Regent’s Canal, even though it was beautiful.

Regents Canal

Anyway, look out form more about the Hack coming soon because there is lots of info I’m sure we will be sharing.

And what else?

Well Thursday was our Digital Directorate away day, I had a really lovely morning as I headed to Tower Bridge and caught the Thames clipper to Canary Wharf. The event itself was at One Canada square which my dad would find very interesting. My ears popped as I travelled up to the 39th floor.

Arriving at Canary Wharf by boat, going up in the lift and the view from the 39th floor.

There was a lot to the day and a lot of listening.

I really enjoyed Rebecca’s session on building communities of practice and it was nice to meet Imran from DEFRA for the first time (even though we have seen each other at One Team Gov breakfasts before). I want to do a lot more thinking about how we can harness communities in our work.

In the afternoon I ran a little unconference. It’s the first time I’ve run one totally on my own and just beforehand I could feel my heart in my chest. I think that was general tiredness and anxiety but also that it was a slightly more formal room than I’m used to; just a small stage, but still a stage, and a lecturn, my slides and a clicker. New stuff to deal with.

When I see people like Katy and Rich facilitating I’m really in awe of how effortless it seems – it’s not – it’s huge amounts of practice and experience.

Anyway, I rushed the first section slightly and there are opportunities I think I missed, but I’m still happy with how it went.

The pitching was great and the timing went well which was a relief.

I tweeted about some of the sessions and that lead to one team making connections with someone else in the department to talk about inductions. So it was worth it!

I want to give a shout out to Liga who did a huge amount of work behind the scenes to make the day excellent with little to no fanfare. She was lovely to work with and has the makings of a great Delivery Manager.

At the end we did a snowball exercise so a second shout out goes to Hattie, who not only managed to get her snowball into the stage from the back of the room but who had a lovely comment to make that I think helped ensure everyone left on a high. If I can edit this later with a pic of it then I will.

One Team Gov stuff

And today I’ve been at home, and even though I’m not working I thought I’d get some one team gov stuff done.

I watched all of our videos back and copied the key points out and put them in a trello backlog ready to synthesise properly later when we have them all.

It was strange because at the time We recorded them I couldn’t see if what we had was going to add up to anything meaningful. But I see now that by bringing them all together it is building into something really great.

We have 8 videos so far. At least 5 more that I’ve lined up, and the contingent in Finland, Australia and Switzerland are working on it too so I’m hopeful. Better than last week’s “nobody is coming to my party” feeling.

Some people have turned up now, and it’s still early.

There’s still time to get involved! We need your submissions in video, audio or written form by 18 July.

I also published another blog post on #OTGWellbeingCamp, so we are building up a nice little library of perspectives from the day.

You’ll find them all here:

And then I’ve written this. When I could have been out in the garden catching some rays. #Dedication

I’m not going to add any links this week but here is my playlist for you. Enjoy:


[1] Reader, I did not successfully complete this in an hour.

[2] This makes me uncomfortable but I’ve decided to keep it in for lolz.

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