Weekly Braindump #46

Mission Impossible and Alarming News

Hello! Welcome to another tardy braindump. Last week seemed to involve quite a lot of head work, so come Friday all I really wanted to do was to curl up in a ball and retreat from the world for a little while (until Monday to be precise).

For whatever reason, getting this post together was incredibly hard!! I also have other half written things currently awaiting my attention. My mojo appears to have deserted me for the moment! I mention this only because I think it’s important to share the struggle and not just the highlight reel!

I’ve been working on…

I had a really useful mentor-type chat with a colleague. This year I’ve been thinking a fair bit about purpose. What is my mission statement? What are my values? Does the work I do reflect those things? At the moment I feel like I’m caught in limbo between old self and future self.. but perhaps it’s supposed to be that way? Meaning that you never arrive at the goal, you just make constant small adjustments and strive for it.

Anyway, it was good to drag some of my internal thoughts about this into broad daylight and let someone else prod any unchallenged assumptions. Two hours later I left feeling decidedly less stuck and armed with some new avenues to explore.

What else?

Seemingly the week was filled with small problems that defied solving. It was incredibly frustrating. A malfunctioning alarm system occupied an alarming (I’m sorry) amount of time. And it’s one of those things that doesn’t naturally sit with anyone in particular because there’s a weird cross section of telecoms/technology/facilities involved, so you just end up scooping it up because it needs sorting.

I also chipped away at a few non-urgent but important things.. some of these also defy solving but I wonder if it’s because I’m unable to bring sustained focus to bear on them at the moment.

What else?

I setup a Yammer group for our Turn The Ship Around meetup. The plan is to work through two chapters of the workbook every other week. I’ll write up brief notes of what we talked about in a Google Doc and post them for the benefit of those who couldn’t make it. Hopefully.. this will help us build a bit of momentum!

What else?

Had an end of week chat with my line manager. We reviewed some of the recommendations that came back from the recent Cyber Security audit. No major shocks and some of the recommendations actually aligned quite nicely with some of our planned efforts around GDPR (which also align nicely with digital transformation).

We also talked a bit about how we could improve communication within the team. Sitting in the same office is paradoxically bad for communication sometimes as you often assume that everyone was around when a particular conversation happened. It’s really great that we all work with a high degree of autonomy, essential even given the demands of the workload, but we perhaps we need some sort of converge/diverge pattern to ensure there’s a broader awareness of things taking place? One of our teams is doing daily standups — might be worth exploring for us.

I’ve been reading…

I’ve been listening to…

  • Leadermorphosis: Ep 8 — Paul Taylor from Bromford Labs on rethinking failure in your organisation.
  • BBC World Service : Discovery — Internet of Things.

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