Weeknote 8 of 2024

In which I celebrate the resurgence of the humble weeknote!

What I've been up to

  • Along with my colleagues the Lindsays (because they have the same first name, yes they are ok with being called that) I gave an in-person Intro to Human Centred Design to a small branch in the Natural Resources Sector (though not part of our ministry.) You can view the slides here.
  • I continued my weekly Supervising in the BC Public Service training. This fortnight, we covered the topics of Change Leadership and Equity and Diversity in Hiring.
  • I finally had a need to sign up for the CMS training required to edit our BC gov main website and intranet. The training was very thorough and took a lot longer than I thought. I was pleased that it included lots of training on plain language, accessible content and how to push back on stakeholders who don't care about those things.
  • Yesterday I attended the Moose Hide walk in downtown Victoria. It was very moving and powerful.
  • I edited and published this blog post, expertly written by my colleagues.
  • I solved a problem for someone by giving them access to design tools they needed but didn't know they could use. It was super simple and took 5 minutes but small things like this can make a big difference.
  • I continued planning and sorting logistics for some training for my ministry.
  • And the rest of my time was spend in various meetings.

What's gone well

  • The in-person workshop I did last week went really well. The group was really engaged and open to what we had to say, and the conversations we had were really energizing. It was a big confidence boost for me, to deliver something that went over so well, although I know a lot of that had to do with the culture of that team, and my co-presenters.
  • I signed up for a free coaching call that I learned about from a colleague and it was awesome - super helpful and validating and full of practical tips I've started using right away. Holly Burton was the coach, if you're looking for something like this.
  • It was my first time attending Moose Hide, but I will be back next year. It was an incredible experience.
an indigenous drum circle and indigenous dancers are surrounded by a crowd
Drum circle and dancing at the Moose Hide Gathering

What's been difficult

  • Our cross-gov HR department (the PSA, or Public Service Agency) recently announced some new changes that affect my employment status as a temporary appointment. What this means for me is that I will have to apply and interview for my current job soon, so there's a bunch of unexpected stress, work and uncertainty for both me and my manager. My own situation aside, I'm overall supportive of this change because I'm a big proponent for fair and equitable hiring and promotion in the public service. At the same time, I also believe there are bigger HR problems the PSA could be working on than this (like lack of flexible working patterns at leadership levels, which the PSA has acknowledged is consistently raised as one of the top challenges staff raise in every engagement and survey they do.)
  • My older daughter, who rarely gets ill now, got really ill. Not hospital ill (though we were very close to taking her to emergency) but ill enough that it threw off our routine for quite a while. It ended up being a strep infection that went beyond her throat. Has anyone else noticed that strep infections seem to have evolved in severity in the last 20-30 years? I had them frequently as a kid and they were usually pretty mild.

What's inspired me this week

I've been thrilled by the recent trend towards weeknotes (in my external and internal networks) and I've been so enjoying reading what everyone's up to

One weeknote I especially enjoy is Audree Fletcher's - I like how she includes a reflection on every bullet point. And there was something that really stuck out to me on her weeknote from a couple of weeks ago - she says, "you can never really overcommunicate the basics." This is hitting home for me as we think about how to bring non-digital people into our digital ways of working. Anywhere, her reflections on that are here:

Week 18 — Audree Fletcher
I think I mentioned how busy last week was - and how draining it was to spend every work day in the London. I’m ordinarily only in the office one day a week, sometimes two. I dislike crowded trains so I tend to board a nice quiet 6.30am train and start my day early, finishing 12 hours later (or more

And here are some other really interesting and relevant posts that have come across my feed recently:

A user-centred approach to renaming a service
Ruth and James share 6 step by step tips for a user-centred approach to renaming your service.
Design in the Senior Civil Service
Jen shares her journey and tips on getting into design at SCS level, and reflects on the challenges and opportunities in the role.
The One Where I Lie To The CTO
This was several years back. Keep in mind that early in my career, my father had told me that doing a good job often meant doing what needed to be done in spite of your boss. And by that he meant that you can either make your boss successful and happy or you can run every decision by your boss. In which case no one is successful or happy. I was working at the time for a Fortune 500 company and our CTO had signed up to deliver a big project for an important client with whom he had personal connections.
How I got into service design
I love designing services. I enjoy doing it for my job and helping others learn the skills and think more holistically. I believe it can…

Reading, watching, listening