Kate N
Kate N
May 22, 2018 · 3 min read

Taking the Plunge

It was the name, you see, it troubled me. Week notes. The grammar pedant inside me heard ‘weak notes’ and had to fight against it. This is the breakthrough moment, and thanks are owed to Cate McLaurin for encouraging me; no arms were broken in her endeavours, though some gentle twisting occurred.


Where to start? Not with this piece, I mean on Monday morning. Where to start? Two mugs of tea, an email triage and then I got stuck in. My irrepressible colleague Valerie provided a helpful steer in the team meeting for the last time before her post comes to an end. ‘You’re brilliant Valerie’ say all of us. ‘I know’ she replies. She could sell that attitude and make a fortune.


The work of a Transformation Director is diverse. There’s a lot of listening, nudging, sometimes gentle enquiry, sometimes more forceful steering. Each situation is different, and today was a mixture of all. In between Skype calls (three cheers for Skype! The quiet revolution across Acas, making a big difference to how we connect), I prepared some slides to back up my board paper for Thursday. ‘Acas Transformation Programme: A brief review of 2017/18 and considerations for 2018/19’.


Ugh. It was an early alarm call to get the 06:30am to London to attend a Modern Gov training course, Effective Briefings and Submissions. The trainer was the brilliant Sue Calthorpe. I have been following Sue for a couple of years now, looking for an opportunity to attend one of her courses. I was not disappointed. I now have new insight into my writing and how to improve readability, though you may wonder about the evidence! I decided to change the title of my presentation for tomorrow: ‘Acas Transformation Programme: Past, Present & Future’. Okay, so it’s a small change but I felt better for it.

The in-house yoga class at the London office was balm at the end of a long day. More practice needed with my balance. How do flamingos do it?

Yoga, bird-style


Board day. I walked to the office and was glad of the fresh air. It was cool and bright and gave me time to reflect. Cate McLaurin met me before work. I drank flat white, she had avocado on toast, and together we were the very picture of ….what? Civil servants in earnest debate? Yes. Friends solving the problems of work? Yes. Mums working out the teenage parenting challenge? Yes. Women supporting each other to grow? Yes. Forty five minutes well spent.

Board went well. The discussion about our achievements, our risks and our challenges was stimulating and encouraging. We have a lot to do and I am looking forward to being a key part of doing it.

I dashed out of the London office to head back to Nottingham just in time for an 8pm run.


I joined a webinar sponsored by the Change Management Institute, delivered by change expert Mel Franklin. I’m reassured that my thoughts are in the right place about the need to embed changed behavior beyond the obvious installation of whatever the new process/kit/system is. Saying it is one thing though, and doing it is another. In Acas it’s the ‘Make it Stick’ part of our newly developed and launched change framework.

I finished the day with a one to one with my boss. It’s great to mull things over. As a colleague said to me years ago ‘the conversation is the relationship’. It’s good to talk.

PS Horticultural happiness of the week: the garden is fizzing.

Fizzing forget-me-knots

Kate N

Written by

Kate N

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