Weeknotes #8 (#9 #10)

This is a multi-week. I had high hopes and expectations of my blogging around the #OneTeamGovGlobal event.

But real life happens too.

Work happened...

The best thing I’ve been doing is going to see as many CivTech sponsor teams as possible. Things I have heard have been heartening and challenging. From the joy of someone saying “the intrapreneurship programme sold CivTech to me”, to people acknowledging that they have had no time or resources to devote to their own development for 5 years. And people taking on responsiblity for changing a whole culture and way of working in huge organisations.

CivTech launched our first ever citizen sourced challenge on 6 August. It has been shaped by a group of young people, who will continue to act as the challenge sponsor throughout. Co-design to this point has taken a huge amount of work, from the CivTech challenge sponsor manager, the youth workers and young people involved, and our hope is that this will pave the way for more and more of what we work on to be sourced directly from citizens. Exciting.

Going to Linda Hunter’s growing visual practice network was a treat. I’d never just listened to a podcast and drawn. I realised afterwards this was really what I needed. I’d been feeling stuck with drawing again, perfectionism creeping in. Just responding to spoken word loosened that up.

I’ve been juggling diaries and content for the full intrapreneurship programme, and we have some new treats in store. I’m delighted that we’re responding to feedback and testing out new content, and that people are so willing to get involved.

We have a couple of bumper weeks coming up at the end of August as exploration phase starts. Planning and organising those is everyone’s priority now. The sift and interviews have given us the 30-ish companies who will take part starting on 21 August. Everyone will be in the studio that day so logisitics are a key concern — we’re growing and stretching at the seams…

The second week of exploration sees a huge day on 28 August when we’ll be taking part in Scotland’s first intrapreneurship conference in Glasgow and welcoming the Scottish Government Executive Team (Perm Sec and all DGs) to the studio in Edinburgh. I’ve been gathering people for panels, and materials for my first ever keynote at the conference. And meeting the Executive Team secretariat to agree how we will welcome, brief and help ET get the most out of their visit, while still allowing them space for their regular business. It will be amazing, but a little daunting.

I’ve been asked to offer advice on event design for two conferences which are all about diversity and inclusion, using my One Team Gov experience. And to get involved in a Scottish liberating structures meetup.

So, work happened. It was intense while doing it. And gone when not.

Work didn’t happen

I missed a few things that I meant to do. I didn’t follow up some things I should have. I covered the essentials. I said no to things I would say yes to usually. I felt bad about some of those. I tried to keep up my usual positive front.

I read this book by Steve Birkinshaw about running all the Lake District Hills. I loved it, in so far as reading about painful things can be loved. But it had people and places I know, and a cracking tale of courage and/or excessive grit, and it suited my mood.

Real life happens

It’s exhausting. Because mostly I’ve been living back in real, hard life, not in work. And over there, there’s been no time to think about anything unless you are doing it. Because all other thoughts are with the people you love and care for. And all other than going to work was being with the tension of suffering and the silence of loss. The world shifted.

Sometimes work is the easy bit.

This is an ancient oak tree in a forest of Scots pine. It is on a hill above Kingussie, or somewhere in middle earth.