Well hi. How has your week been? Mine has been… eventful.
On Tuesday my buyer pulled out of our house sale.
On Wednesday we started viewings again (after some frantic tidying).
Then, on Thursday we had a new offer!
This house buying/selling malarkey is nothing short of a rollercoaster and some of the bends are pretty whiplashy.
But the rest of the week has been pretty good actually.
I’ve had some freedom to work on a project and it’s been good to read, research and do the thinking. I’ve also been able to use it as a way to organise lovely chats with people (#research).
So this week I had calls with Will at Croydon, Alex at Rushmoor, Tim at Haringey and Lauren at Stride. It was really great to talk to people who I kinda know, but also don’t really know, and a good reminder of how much working in the open makes all of these things go so much more smoothly. There’s an implicit trust that I felt in each of those conversations which I really appreciated.
I’ve got some more chats with great people coming up too next week, which is pretty awesome.
I’ve missed bouncing ideas off of people, listening and hearing about their experiences. I hadn’t realised quite how lonely and constraining working on my own had become.
I’ve also been doing some synthesis and mapping (because, honestly, it is research not just lovely chats!) I took over an entire wall in my office with post-its, which wasn’t ideal when we had house viewings, but thankfully I don’t think anyone thought I was completely insane…
I’d also forgotten how much I really love standing and thinking and placing and moving and grouping and dancing and thinking and… stuff. I’ve spent too many months sitting at my desk; so probably a good thing that Miro locked me out of my board. I clearly needed that, thanks Miro!
It was also really useful to join Annie and Simon’s Local Gov design community meet-up today (Friday) because it meant I got to ask and hear more from people on this and hopefully it will lead to even more conversations and ideas.
I also listened to a webinar that Lauren and Dan ran as part of Stride, it was really useful for framing some of my thinking.
Two weeks now into this piece of work and I’m feeling pretty good about it. I have a clear plan and just need to do a little more research and then I can start working up a proposal. I need to work more on my framing because I want it to land, but it could be misunderstood if not done right. I think I can do it, but it’s going to take some crafting.
And what else?
This week I spent 4 hours scoring DOS applications and then a further 2-ish hours with Nour and Egle moderating them. We had 27 applications for our Community Engagement Playbook project which was brilliant, but also blimey that’s a lot of scoring (sorry both — but thank you!)
Actually, it occurs to me now that this was the first time Nour and I have ever officially worked together (i.e. on something non One Team Gov related) which has to be worth celebrating.
It occurs to me that it’s been several weeks now since I attended a One Team Gov breakfast because they now fall in the middle of the school run. I think I’ve been missing the interaction more than I thought.
I also had sprint planning, quarterly planning, comms planning and retro this week. Two weeks seem to come around so quickly at the moment.
Here’s my Trello reading list for this week: https://trello.com/b/BBJ726mr/progress-bookmarks
I feel like I haven’t read much, which is probably because it’s been a busy week . I’m fairly sure that my reading has trailed off as the year has progressed, but I’m still going, still trying.
October has been a bit of a full-on month of events hasn’t it?
It’s like every event under the sun has moved online independently of one another and all of them are competing, overlapping.
It was Local Gov Camp last week, Digital Leaders this week (of which Dorset’s Festival of the Future was a part, more later). I found working out what was happening in Digital Leaders, what I wanted to attend, what I actually had time in my diary for totally impossible. Partly down to the interface, partly down to the sheer number of things happening, partly due to my inability to concentrate.
Distributed was on US time so started in the evening and went on to late, Ada’s list started at 3 and went on till 7, which isn’t late, but after a day of work felt like it. Especially at the moment when every day feels heavy and tiring. I joined one of the first sessions, which was ok but not great, and I missed everything else.
I got really confused and put Ada’s list in my diary for Tuesday/Wednesday and then panicked when I didn’t have a link to join on Tuesday, only to find out it was actually Wednesday/Thursday #facepalm.
Then, on Wednesday I had a migraine in the afternoon and couldn’t join and Thursday I was just too tired. So that was money well spent on a ticket #doublefacepalm.
I understand the logic about organising events for evenings and after work, but it didn’t work for me. As such, I’m getting a strange FOMO mixed with exhaustion and cognitive overload. There are so many things going on that I want to do but the requirement on me to organise, plan, sign up, and then sit at a computer and participate is waaaay too much.
And then there are the post-event videos. So many videos. All of them out there in the internet, taunting me and reminding me of what I’ve missed, but also still, requiring my motivation and mental capacity to find and watch. If anyone wants to set up a service curating the best bits of all of these events I will be very happy.
Next week is Vitra summit, which I’m hoping I feel more able to join.
Dorset Council Festival of the Future
I loved that the “Festival” had a section called Campfire Stories, a track dedicated to storytelling and change. I cannot really explain how important I think that is and how refreshing to have a whole section dedicated to it, so well done to the organising team at Dorset for doing that (oh and now I have even more post-event videos to watch, doh!)
Anyway, I think the workshop went well, it was really lovely, really fun, with nice people who weren’t scared to jump in and get involved. We even had a musical interlude which I enjoyed immensely.
If you’re interested, you can watch the workshop, here:
Ok, that’ll do. See you next week!