Weekly Braindump #39

The Transformation Train and Wonderful Stuff

Hello reader. Welcome to another Friday and another Braindump! Here’s what the last 7 days were filled with.

What I’ve been working on…

Monday was a day off for my Daughter’s Birthday. I watched Cars 3. It was markedly better than Cars 2. I haven’t watched Cars (1) for a long time, so I honestly couldn’t tell you if it was better than that. Isn’t the first Cars film essentially a re-hash of Doc Hollywood? Anyway.. I digress.

Tuesday I had a chat with my line manager about our digital transformation efforts. We’ve just completed some work collecting data + analysing how tenants contact us in order to understand where the demand currently is. This also provides a useful benchmark so we know if we’re moving the needle at all with our future efforts.

We’re going to be tackling digital transformation in regular sprints to keep things clipping along. I’ll be honest, we’ve not yet settled on what a reasonable window of time is for a sprint (thoughts welcome on this). We’ve identified some key areas to start working on. First, Login/registration of our web services & app are a bit clunky and a source of unnecessary friction. Second, prototyping live/automated chat with tenants and staff to gain a better initial understanding of the potential benefits and limitations.

We also talked about ways in which we can bring the rest of the organisation along on the transformation train (choo choo!). It probably won’t look like masses of emails or Yammer posts. I floated the idea of sticking infographic type posters in strategic places + monthly open meetings + show & tell sessions. Perhaps we also need to speak to our friends in comms for more ideas to reach out to people. Engaging more people in this process is not just a nicety, it is vital if we want more than surface level tokenistic change.

Tuesday afternoon I did some testing with the <bleep> team for the <bleep> project. Frustratingly, the wheels fell off pretty early as I discovered a show stopping problem that appeared since changes were made to the system. Even more annoyingly, the problem seemingly disappeared of its own accord by Thursday leaving me scratching me head & cursing up a storm in equal measure.

Wednesday was a leave day.

Thursday was a bit of a manic juggling act of trying to complete 4 different urgent tasks simultaneously. As much as I try to avoid this, events conspire sometimes to make multitasking unavoidable. I did manage to complete those 4 things though — so at least the rushing around wasn’t all for naught.

Friday I had another meeting with my line manager to have a quick sanity check on what hardware we need to buy/move around to facilitate some recent team & job role changes.

Then a bunch of us had a look at a potential new phone system. Amidst the demo of flashy features and bells & whistles I was delighted when one of our senior management team piped up.. “I can see how this benefits the organisation, but what difference does this make for tenants?”. Genuinely wonderful wonderful stuff.

Also great that collectively it was recognised that this new technology brought with it new ways of working which will need some considered thinking *with* staff about a potential change culture. Also very wonderful.

What I’ve been thinking about…

Double loop learning as introduced to me by Kelly Doonan via this easier to digest post she shared. I’ve had a crack at grasping double loop learning before but have bounced off it due to some impenetrable writing.

Now armed with a better understanding of it, I can see quite a lot of sense in it. If you don’t regularly question the ‘why’ of what you’re doing, you can get trapped inside a loop of acting upon your own hidden assumptions. There’s a great post from Carl Haggerty that begins to tentatively explore this idea.

As an organisation we’ve done some work on Immunity to Change which runs along a similar theme that all of our behaviours are driven by some (often hidden) underlying core assumptions. These assumptions and beliefs are the way that we interpret and perceive the world around us. If we try and change things and they don’t stick, it’s often because those assumptions + competing commitments remain unchanged and get in the way and stop us from succeeding. Most people are overtly fearful of failure, but what if you’re also subconsciously afraid of success and the changes that it might bring? If you’re thinking.. “But.. I’m not the problem! The problem is <insert team/person here>” .. you must remember that change starts with YOU.

What else?

I feel like I’m at a bit of a cross roads work wise. I intimated as much at the end of last year when I really started thinking about the purpose that drives me.. what is my mission statement?

I’m pondering ways of understanding the value I add to those around me. As someone who strives to work more openly I’m wondering if that ‘value add’ differs internally and externally, and if so why? Do my perceptions of where I add value match reality? I’m currently thinking about a methodology to unpick these questions.

What I’ve been reading…

What I’ve been listening to…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *