Weeknotes 7 of 2024

All the people-ing

image of buildings and trees and highways
Surrey, BC where I've spent the last few days (photo from Istock)

What I've been working on

  • I spent the last few days in Guildford, Surrey (the one in BC, Canada) with our Environmental Protection Division. The team spent some time mapping out their vision (1 and 5 years), making plans and reflecting on challenges.
  • I'm working on some plans to bring some training to our Ministry.
  • I've started the Supervising in the BC Public Service course that everyone working here seems to do at some point. I was expected a small cohort to work through it with but there are 350 people on the zoom calls.
  • I'm developing an in person (!!) intro to service design workshop for an area of the natural resource sector.
  • I've been editing and writing various blog posts. One written by others (coming soon), one about my neurodiversity, and one about the things I dislike about MS teams.
  • I ran our ENV designer meetup for April and attended the BC Gov Design meetup on the same day.
  • I participated in (and helped out a little with) our Environment Agile open house.
  • And a myriad of HR tasks.

What's gone well

  • I really enjoyed my various conversations with the EPD team. I also had a lovely dinner meetup with some of our Vancouver-based designers as well, and enjoyed meeting people at the Agile open house. It's been a very people-y couple of weeks, in a good way.
  • Travelling for work = restful sleep and an extra hour in the morning with no kid-wrangling or school drop offs (I wonder if work travel also feels restful for non-parents? Probably not)
  • It's finally feeling warm out.

What's been challenging

  • As always, I felt pretty awkward and out of place at the in person meetups I attended. I sat through it and tried to feel at peace with being awkward. I wondered if I will ever not feel awkward. I tried to remind myself that I am allowed to take up space awkwardly. I worried about the energy I was putting out.
  • Focus has been an issue for me, particularly in long in-person workshops. I doodled a lot, and then worried about this coming across as childish. But someone told me that it made them feel more comfortable in how they were showing up at the meeting. So that was really lovely to hear and made me think that maybe my not fitting in is creating space for others to be themselves.
  • I felt so much self-doubt over my blog posts. I don't usually feel that way when I write something. I don't know what's up.

Interesting things I read

How do you accidentally run for President of Iceland?
A digital endorsement process gone wrong
Making the service assessment process easier and more consistent
For the last 18 months, we’ve been investigating and implementing initiatives for how we check and improve our digital services against standards, specifically, the Government Service Standard. Our research findings show that the way we assess these services in DfE …
Permission, forgiveness and workplace adulting — Audree Fletcher
The amazing Grace Hopper once said “it’s better to get forgiveness than permission”.  And I’ve seen plenty of leaders try to cultivate this philosophy among their teams - often feeling frustrated and wanting them to just crack on with what needs to be done instead of seeking permission and
Case study research – Lisa Koeman – blog
Lisa Koeman’s blog
The beginner’s guide to systems thinking
Insights from Apolitical’s free online event, exploring tools and techniques to help public servants understand and apply systems thinking in government.

Reading, watching, listening