Weeknotes summer wrap up

Last post before a bit of a summer break

Summer break

Well last week was Ep10 of this series and it passed without any real fanfare or, I have to say, without me even noticing it.

As mum to a smallish person who has now started on summer holidays it means that the real childcare juggle begins, and I’m going to be intermittently off work as I look after him. Also, my non-working Fridays are going to be spent with him, meaning that I won’t be able to find any time on a Friday to write a weeknote.

So I thought I’d do a bit of a wrap up, making this post a bit of a hybrid. Some of what I did, some retro for S7, some links and general ponderings.

What did I do?

One. Met Dan for coffee on Monday morning, this will quite possibly be the last time I see him before he starts his new job at Citizen’s Advice. We had a good chat about leaving a long standing job, staring a new job, and then about echo chambers, being paranoid that people hate us, and we even managed to talk about incels somehow. Anyway, as always it was useful and set me up well for the week I think.

I also had lunch with beckymiller33 in the sunshine which was a highlight.

Sunshine

Two. I did some more thinking about what good looks like. I created a new “What does good look like?” board with three more themes. I’m finding it difficult to get people really engaged in thinking about what’s up on there.

I set some guiding questions this time to give it more direction but I’m not sure that they have helped. The questions were “Are all of these things the same?” and “What would you call these things?” but people seem reluctant to answer the questions which means I need to do more work to show that there isn’t any right or wrong answer.

Perhaps as I’m much closer to all of the outputs I’m more able to zoom out, or I’m less averse to the possibility of being wrong? Perhaps it’s not fair of me to assume others will be OK with being wrong if they haven’t got as many years (and fails) under their belt as me (I have many).

An example of how many of my fails feel. A boy accidentally steps into the current of a surf training machine and gets floated away.

Maybe I need a less… public… way of feeding back. I’m not sure.

Perhaps my team didn’t do a good job of talking though the outputs and bringing the team along with us when we were reading through them all. I feel like this is likely and it’s something to think about for next time. Perhaps a very short 10 minutes every day after stand up to talk through one of the outputs would give people an overview.

Anyway, I’ve written one blog post about the use of demographic information to help set the problem space and context, it includes some examples from our funded projects.

I’ve also started another post about narrative structure and how projects can use that to help bring people along, and explain what they’ve done. I’m actually excited about this post as I think it could be really handy for a lot of people in drawing attention to how storytelling supports project delivery.

I struggled with writing as I worked from home on the hottest day of the year, and despite the fan being directly on me and all the windows being open I could not concentrate in the heat, it was awful.

This weather is disrespectful.

I’ve been reading a few things on the subject and think I will continue to read more, so if you know of anything I could consume then please let me know. I found this piece on apolitical quite interesting.

https://apolitical.co/solution_article/storytelling-not-powerpoint-is-what-helps-you-sell-your-message/

Three. Lots going on in One Team Gov at the moment. I’m planning a trip to this event in Copenhagen as part of OTG at the moment which I’m very excited about…

https://apolitical.co/solution_article/storytelling-not-powerpoint-is-what-helps-you-sell-your-message/

We also heard that #OTGWellbeingCamp has been included in one of apolitical’s round ups:

Apolitical have also asked me to take part in one of their ‘Real Talk’ sessions, so I’m going to be doing that with Nour and possibly another OTG volunteer which I’m really looking forward to. We will be doing this with someone from the City of Edmonton (Canada) which is really exciting, I’m really enjoying this cross the pond collaboration.

The Radical Visions for the Future of Government work has slowed a little. I managed to get ahead of myself which has been beneficial. We had;

  • 29 videos of individuals
  • 1 video that the OTG Oz team put together for us
  • 7 individual audio recordings
  • 2 group conversation recordings, and,
  • 6 written submissions!

That’s 45 submissions in total and I’m feeling really buoyant about that, its been so much fun getting them all together, now the hard part starts as we try and pull it all together into a coherent narrative, my newest worry is just generally about the word “radical”.

How radical can you be in 10 years? And how radical can you be when you’re representing other people’s thoughts and opinions? I hope we can pull something out of the bag.

Radical

S7 Retro

I said at the beginning of the year that I would retro my weeknotes activity more regularly, so need to do a quick rundown. Here’s my retro for 2018 which has some pointers I wanted to take forward into 2019…

https://apolitical.co/solution_article/storytelling-not-powerpoint-is-what-helps-you-sell-your-message/

Here are my S6 retro notes:

https://apolitical.co/solution_article/storytelling-not-powerpoint-is-what-helps-you-sell-your-message/

  1. Replicate a similar number of posts to 2018

I said I was aiming for 45 posts over the year which is the number of weeknotes I wrote in 2018 and “other things” I wrote (not including One Team Gov posts).

Since S6 I’ve written:

So in reality that’s 14 posts that are 100% mine since April, and if I was being generous I’d count those blogrolls as 0.5 of a post which takes me to 16 over 4 months.

A 4 post average per month which isn’t too bad. Add that to the 12 I’d published since the new year, so 28 in total (again an average of 4 per month) which means If I continue at that pace I’ll have met my target by the end of the year.

2. Increase the number of “useful” posts I write

Well I think I’m behind on this as I have only really written the 3 I mentioned above, but I have also written one for work, and have drafted 1.5 more, so the useful stuff might have to live somewhere other than on Medium.

Zoidberg from Futurama saying “Hooray! I’m useful! I’m having a wonderful time”

3. Write more collaborative posts

I’ve just not done this. Except, I have in my own small way. All of the posts published to the One Team Gov publication (35 in total) have (mostly, give or take 1 or 2) been edited and reviewed by me first.

I’ve made small changes, added photos and images, and I’ve made some suggestions for improvements. So really, maybe that is the collaboration I’m here for.

4. Video or podcast stuff

I haven’t done this, despite having my own theme tune. I’ve done a couple of videos and I’m gradually getting more comfortable with being in front of a camera.

Readership is still dwindling…

But I’m OK with it.

Of all of my posts over S7, the most popular has by far and away been the Radical Visions brief thanks to a concerted campaign on twitter and using our OTG network. It has had 1.1k views to date.

The next most popular has been What has One Team Gov actually achieved which has had 321 views, which makes sense, and then my Purdah notes had 144 views and Ep2 had 123 views (to date).

Of S7 (including Purdah notes) I’ve averaged 34.7 reads per post which is another dip, as I mentioned in the S6 retro:

This series has also had on average much less reads than I’ve seen in previous series, averaging 40.8 per weeknote (dragged up by a couple of posts that have been much more popular than the others).

In S5 this reads averaged 50.3 and S4 was getting 63.8.

I’ve also had less “fans” with an average of 9.5 per episode (last series it was an average of 11).

I guess this is an indicator of more people writing, more to read and people having less time (and also growing dissatisfaction with Medium as a platform?)

We will see what S8 looks like, but I don’t really do this for the engagement but for the self reflection anyway, it’s just an interesting observation that things seem to be steadily decreasing.

Other stuff

And what else? I enjoyed this post by Eddie Copeland

This post has been informing some of my thinking around storytelling:

https://apolitical.co/solution_article/storytelling-not-powerpoint-is-what-helps-you-sell-your-message/

I really liked this post about building communities:

And this one about being a facilitator that resonated quite a lot (I like problems solving on the spot and living on the edge a bit too).

https://apolitical.co/solution_article/storytelling-not-powerpoint-is-what-helps-you-sell-your-message/

And finally, Zoe’s post about neurodiversity:

And by way of sign off I decided to make a playlist of the 30 day song challenge, you’ll find it here:

The 30 day song challenge

See you on the other side!


NB- edited as my maths was wrong when working out if I was on course to meet my target of 45 posts.

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