Weeknotes S3 E6 (2019 Edition)

Slightly late notes! Sorry/Not Sorry.. I’ve been having a great time organising and sorting. (No, really!)

I’ve been…

  • Reading about the 4 day working week. Because of the Bank Holiday the concept has re-entered the news cycle (or so it seems to me). I thought it was interesting to observe how people used their bonus Monday off. Some spending time with family, heading to the beach, using the day to paint or do a spot of gardening. I’m not sure a 4 day week is the whole answer for everyone, but it’s interesting to think about where people devote their energies when they’re given the opportunity to do something other than head to the office between 9 and 5, and the ripple effect that has.
  • Addressing organisational debt.. at home. Our patterns as a family have changed significantly this year. However, when we sat down and thought about it, we were struck that a lot of how we organised stuff at home had remained largely unchanged. We were very much still on the hamster wheel of old. This has left us all feeling like we’re fighting the system rather than having it work in harmony with us. We spent much of Saturday starting from first principles and thinking about what the ideal routine / setup looks like. And mostly it was simplifying things so that there was less cognitive load and/or friction. This also triggered a KonMarie type purge of non-essential furniture and household items (avoiding landfill wherever possible). It’s been very therapeutic! Sometimes a sharp disconnection from the old is precisely what’s needed when you’re eager for change.
  • Helping out on a recruitment panel for a technology role in social housing. Lots of good candidates with different takes on what ‘modernisation’ means. As ever, I am struck by the similarity in conversations happening in all Housing Association’s with regard to how we meet rising expectations. Whilst we all might start at different points on the curve, or might be employing different tools, the overall journey remains broadly the same. I remain convinced there’s huge value to be had in collaborating wherever possible in this endeavour.
  • Having a chat with a colleague about ROWE (results only working environment) and preventing overwork/burnout. It may not surprise you, but we didn’t totally resolve this in one sitting. 🙂 Generally speaking, entrusting people to figure out how/where to best meet outcomes is a good thing. But there’s also some discipline required to prevent working on too many simultanous things at the same time (from an individual level right up to an organisational level). And for many people, project work is an additional task to business as usual. So.. what am I really saying here? *chin stroking* I guess it’s important to make ALL the work visible, preferably in one place so you can gather around it regularly to talk about it. To really understand what you’re trying to do this week, month, year so you can be absolutely intentional about where you’re going and setting yourself (and others) up to succeed.
  • Thinking about who job titles are actually for? A tweet sparked some interesting debate which continued into a meeting with colleagues. Think we arrived at.. 1. Do job titles influence the thinking/behaviour of the person who it belongs to?.. yup. 2. Are job titles also a way to help people understand what your responsibilities are and how you can potentially help them?.. yup. Point 2 possibly trumps point 1 if we’re being user centred about things.

I’ve been reading…

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