Weeknote: S2, Ep13: Overcoming exam nerves, career-defining pivots and learning-by-doing
I finally nailed the video submission for my grade 3 piano exam. Ultimately it was a combination of perseverance (I could have skipped it) and being kind to myself (mistakes are normal and ok). Perseverance and kindness could be at odds with each other, I’m pleased I found the balance between them — it feels like good adult-ing.
Apprentices Josie and Charlotte have started working on our project to upgrade to our meeting room tech. It’s work that is adding real value to the Council and it’s helping them to complete their apprenticeship final assessment. A beautiful win-win. Ann — one of our senior project managers — is providing a steer and come coaching. Josie and Charlotte have hit the ground running — I can’t wait to see what they learn and the successful implementation of new equipment at our Birchmere site.
I managed to get to a webinar hosted by Crown Commerical Services on procurement through the G-Cloud framework. Our contract and governance team and project managers are trying to learn more about the frameworks we use. This is to help us have better conversations with our procurement colleagues. I also managed to sneak into a session at this year’s Deliver Con UK. This is a great un-conference organised by James Cattell and bunch of hardworking volunteers. It’s a learning community for delivery managers and agilists across the public sector. My route into digital was through delivery management. The power of well-run, motivated, empathetic teams to deliver change that improves people’s lives was the professional equivalent of “you had me at hello”. It was good to tap back into the inspiration that pivoted my career and sings to my values.
Recruiting. It’s something that has the potential to be strategic, human-centered and deeply fulfilling to put awesome people into exciting jobs. It’s not. It’s a highly manual admin process, a maze of emails, word docs and software applications. Our HR advisors are brilliant. They are proactive problem solvers who help in whatever they can. The humans are great, but the process is not. Our recruitment is fair and transparent thanks to the expertise of our HR teams. We achieve this with a protective ring of bureaucracy. I can’t help feeling whilst the motivation is right the methods are hindering rather than helping us. For my part, I could do better. Next week, I’m going to time box my efforts to stay on top of the admin — doing a little each day will conquer the backlog.
The delivery teams have pulled together a series of learning opportunities in May. This was inspired by Learning at Work Week and Mental Health Awareness Week. We’re covering everything from how to create a budget to drawing skills, becoming a published author, overcoming stage fright, action mapping, what can we learn from children about asking for help, and how to identify project risks. People have stepped up to share skills, experiences and ideas covering work-related topics and things they are passionate about. Self-driven, informal learning offers a great way to cross-fertilise ideas across teams, expand knowledge and deepen working/social relationships. I’m proud of the people for volunteering and to those coming along and joining in. It’s a cultural step change and comfort zones are being stretched.
Mostly Animal Crossing. I can’t help feeling that Mr Tom Nook is a greedy, earth-destroying capitalist and life on Ertyland is only a few Nook Miles away from a nightmare dystopia. I’m starting an island-wide campaign to stop unfettered development and the loss of natural habitat.