Weeknotes 5 of 2024

This morning, I thought to myself, "it's been just over two weeks since my last weeknote, I better get on it," before realizing it had actually been four weeks. FOUR. I feel like it's a bit banal to talk about time passing quickly, but this genuinely shocked me.

That said, I did take a week of holiday during that time (a trip to Ottawa) and also published something on the Service Transformation Branch blog. So my lack of writing is somewhat excusable, not that anyone is holding me accountable.


What's gone well

  • I wrote a blog post (see above) and it got a lot of attention. Thank you to everyone who reached out about it.
  • I participated in some in-person days with one of our product teams and had the chance to learn much more about the work of Conservation Officers in BC which has been really interesting.
  • I've provided a fair bit of feedback and guidance that I hope is helpful to various teams in our division.
  • The BC Gov Design Community hosted another call, this time on Safety in Design. It went well and I had minimal involvement which is a good sign that we're moving in the direction of co-owning the community.
  • I've spent time reflecting on my leadership style and how to show up in this new role in a way that is true to who I am. My manager Kelsey has been really supportive in this.
  • I submitted a talk proposal to SD in Gov and helped a few others frame/refine theirs– fingers crossed for everyone! (I'd be totally ok with not being selected this year if it meant that some of the other people I've supported get to go, so although I would absolutely love the chance to go again, I feel like I'm hoping for their success more than mine.)

What's been difficult

  • I ran my first of our environment design meetups, and it wasn't terrible but it wasn't a success either. I tried to do too much during the session, and spent more time talking through the prompts than allowing people to share. This is a good learning for me–I have a tendency to 'over plan' workshops, as a way to deal with my fear of being put on the spot and having to fill dead air myself. Next time I will try to trust the group to steer and fill the conversation.
  • I've been dealing with a lot of meeting fatigue recently. I've also found myself feeling "put on the spot" during a few of those meetings, which is not a critique of anyone else in those meetings but rather a reflection for me on how I can respond to and deal with that feeling and situation. I am not the sort of person who can come up with ideas and advice in front of other people–I need time to think on my own before I can respond, so I'm trying to figure out the best way to say that without sounding like I am slow, or like I am not taking action.
  • I've also been feeling my confidence depleting a little bit over the last few weeks. I'm trying to understand how much of that is a normal amount due to changing jobs/sectors, and whether I should be worried that something deeper is going on. I don't know what to do about this except be patient with myself, and lean into the things I know I am good at.
  • I took my family on a small visit to Ottawa (see above) and it was full of mishaps: I fell ill, things we wanted to see were closed, planned meetups didn't happen, our one outdoor excursion was plagued with hail and snow even though the forecast was clear. But it was a good reminder for us all to find joy in the ordinary. I also learned that IKEA is a great, free alternative to the museum my kids were disappointed was closed.

Things I've read that have inspired me lately

So many good blog posts lately, some new and some just new-to-me:

Principles — The Service Org
There needs to be more support for digital public works
Digital infrastructure is vital for public services. So why doesn’t it get the investment it needs?
Ideas for digital public works
Some thoughts on digital platforms and services that would be helpful for cross-government teams.
Inclusion in the workplace
This week I presented a talk about inclusion at SDinGOV. One of the questions at the end was about the one thing I would like people to work on, and the first thing that came to mind was about being more inclusive in the workplace.
gilest.org: How to communicate with busy stakeholders
Crafting concentration - Effortmark
Why working on a craft project such as crochet helps me to concentrate during meetings.
Tired of fortnightly sprints? We’re trying something different
We’re trying something new on the Design System team at the moment. A move away from traditional fortnightly sprints to a 3-week delivery…

Reading, watching, listening

mother and child walk through woods
Walking with my 4-year-old in Stony Swamp near Ottawa