August (2) looking at the horizon—-424e247e31cc—4

a view out to see from the beach in Bexhill
Went for a brilliant swim at the weekend in Bexhill

This week Emma McGowan and I were at the helm for most of the week whilst colleagues were taking well earned breaks. Luckily mostly calm waters with a couple of swells here and there.*

So what happened this week?**


I ran the modern tools for housing programme squad session – this is where the three work strands can bring programme level thinking/identify any blockers/have a space to challenge each other. I’m finding that the more I get closer to the detail the more I can see how well the teams are collaborating with each other and delivering incremental value to users. Collaboration across teams isn’t easy — it takes an openness and willingness by teams ad individuals to challenge and be challenged, and it’s far better than governance that pushes all decisions upwards and disempowers teams.


Emma, Jane and I facilitated a workshop on Thursday looking at the concept of a learning agreement and how we might use that as a tool/building block for a true learning culture across HackIT. It’s great to work with them both – they’re both inspiring, talented, humble and openly curious women. After work I went for possibly my smoothest and most enjoyable lake swim so far — I’ve finally worked out that open water swimming is like running, slow and steady is what works for me.


I caught up with some of the managers of our apprentices in one of our regular meet ups where we check in on how it’s going, offer/ask for support and review what we want to do next. Often the quality and (lack of) support from providers is top of our list of worries so it was nice this time to hear about good tutors and better experiences. It’s such a fundamental part of an apprenticeship – the formal learning at a college alongside what you learn at work and it frustrates me when that support isn’t there.


I went into the actual office and caught up with Emma, Rob and Jane in person. We saw several groups of colleagues touring the newly designed office space pilot on the fourth floor and I tried out the sound proofed meeting rooms. The space is really easy to work in and feels collaborative (and safe). Judging by the reactions of the other teams it’s a hit with lots of different people.

Emma, Jane and I worked together on a draft learning agreement which is emerging as the result of people’s hard work on the workshop. Now we can share something more widely for the rest of the team to add to, disagree with, comment on.


Caught up on a couple of show and tells that I’d missed, and spent time planning ahead for September. I’m taking a break in early September so I want to get some work underway before I go, and have more lined up ready to start when I get back. I’ve got several plans now that I want to get people’s input on when they get back from leave.

What did I read this week?

Unusually not that much — the main thing was this article on why we meet, and how we need to step back and think about what the purpose of gathering is . . . as we start to contemplate using the office again in September I’m talking to teams about how and why we might.

Opinion | How Should We Meet? And Who Decides?

*no I don’t know why I went down the nautical references either.

**am trying a diary format for a bit, talking about one thing a day

August (2) looking at the horizon was originally published in Web of Weeknotes on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


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August 29, 2021 at 07:40AM

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