Weeknote: 19 to 23 August 2019

Wall of smileys and stickers in the exit from the Helsinki Design Museum

Back to weeknoting after a break including a 2-week family holiday in Finland and St Petersburg.

1. What leadership teamwork did I see?

  • Going away for two weeks at a critical time in our organisation change process has helped me appreciate the awesome people I work with even more. In particular, Eva and Richard dealt brilliantly with all the final week changes and checks before Ian, our profession’s executive sponsor, shared the proposal for change with colleagues.
  • On my return from leave, I got back into the regular catch-ups and meetings to answer queries about the changes and make sure all our staff have  opportunities to ask questions and make suggestions during collective consultation. HR and admin colleagues are working incredibly hard, and are all stars of this process.
  • I’ve also been reassured by a pragmatic conversation with finance and business management colleagues about some changes we want to make to ways of working, which have implications for budgets and planning. They’ve helped me understand some of the nuances of how our cost allocations work, what can be done mid-year, and what we might take into planning for the next financial year.

2. How did I make expectations clear?

  • I set out timetables for some recruitment and another HR process the we need to undertake.

3. How did I uphold the NHS Constutition?

  • With selection and assessment processes being planned, I was pleased to see that the expectation of diverse panels being set, and worked to support this myself.
  • I volunteered to  be a career mentor for one of our new user-centred design graduate scheme participants. I hope that having this direct connection will help me to stay in touch with the employee experience of our new starters.

4. What do I need to take care of?

  • Everyone’s circumstances are different. While we’re consulting on the organisation change with staff collectively, we also need to give individuals the opportunity to express specific concerns, and make sure the impact of the changes on them personally has been fully considered.
  • We need to set out clear, fair rationales for decisions we make, and make sure these are documented.
  • I need to take care of my own workload during this time so that important things that need considered attention don’t get crowded out.
  • I need to look after my own career development. I have an opportunity next week, and want to do myself justice.

5. What connections did I make?

  • A call with Iain from NHS X, and other people from national arms-length bodies, about working together as a Digital, Data, and Technology (DDAT) profession in health and care. The group came up with a great first step, which I hope we can share very soon.

6. What (else) inspired me this week?

  • Progress with Helen and Nicola on a joint workshop between NHS X and NHS Digital on how we involve patients in our work.
  • Great feedback from colleagues who attended an internal training course on human-centred design, devised and delivered by Rochelle and Tero, our leads for user research and design respectively. I’m looking forward to rolling the course out to more teams at NHS Digital.
  • Rohan’s post reflecting on six years on the British Council board of trustees. Key quote: “Institutions need to take more risks with board appointments because in times of ongoing turbulence it is difference that will move things forward”.

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