Weeknote: S2, Ep7
We’ve started working with Kainos. It’s great to have their expertise and skills to help us with our migration to the cloud, amongst other things. Omeed and Sinu have been with us for three weeks — they are helping us reconnect the granular work we’ve been doing to plan and execute our pilot migration with the comprehensive vision for our cloud environment. I really appreciate their ability to move seamlessly between micro and the macro, and for helping me to navigate a complex technical landscape.
I was interviewing for a new Senior Delivery Manager this week. One of the candidates asked “what are you most proud of”. I loved the boldness and curiosity of the question — a great way to get an insight into the leadership culture of an organisation. I couldn’t point to one thing in my answer. I think it is a mosaic of small interactions which lead to change — breakthroughs in working relationships, supporting teams to navigate uncertainty, coaching someone to find their voice, and weaving the different strands of cultures together. Sam — our Head of Data — summed it up perfectly. “Leadership is about people, not things, and seeing those people grow and change is what makes me proud”.
Different projects and teams need different types of support. Getting this right is [insert expletive here] hard and one of our teams has been bruised by us missing the mark. This has dented their confidence in themselves and their trust in us. I feel deeply sad about this. What’s good is the openness in which we’ve been able to talk about this (and will continue to talk about it), and I am confident that a recalibration of focus and skills can nudge us all back on track. I’m still processing what I need to do differently — at the moment this looks like acknowledging how I’m feeling about it. I want the changes we make will be foundational, rather than knee jerk and superficial. This can’t happen without dealing with the emotion of it.
We’re trying to drop a couple of our regular car journeys each week by cycling. I’ve not been on a bike for almost three decades. This weekend we cycled to church for the first time — a total of six miles using paths and main roads. I’m not a big fan of driving and I’m a nervous cyclist* so I am absolutely delighted at my small win and pushing at the edges of my comfort zone.
We had our first Delivery Meet Up a couple of weeks ago. The remit of the Delivery function is broad with four teams doing very different work. Being together has been a felt need for a while and I confess I dragged my heels in getting things moving. I couldn’t see how it would work and felt stuck. Before Christmas I asked Danny, Emma and Paul to help me shape some principles — coat hooks I could hang ideas off. From this, we shaped an agenda that emphasized participation, shared learning and some empathy building. The feedback has been positive with some great tips to improve things for next time and people asking for a longer session. No-one asks for longer meetings, right?
*Nervous now, but I’m determined to get more confident.