Weeknote: 10 to 14 January 2022

Classical building with portico. Across the top of the portico are the words in neon letters: Everything is going to be alright"
Weekend trip to Edinburgh to drop middle son back at university

What did I experiment with?

Getting out for a short cycle ride around midday on 3 out of 5 days. It makes the most of the daylight and gives me thinking time away from screens and other distractions.

What was hard?

Maybe it’s the approaching 2 year point of not working together in offices, maybe the impending planning cycle and organisation change, or maybe just the first full 5-day week in January, but I did have fleeting feelings of exasperation with the relentlessness and repetitiveness of some things at work. By the end of the week things felt a lot brighter again.

What did I enjoy?

A longer-than-usual, reflective session with the line managers in my team, to make sure all our people get opportunities to work on stuff that matters and a devlop their skills and experience.

The NHSX weekly show and tell, brilliantly chaired this week by Emma, in which colleagues from the CTO team showed their work.

Seeing things falling into place on work that will come to fruition in the coming quarter. When I joined the team, I felt we needed to build our track record of delivery connected to strategic priorities. The things going live in the next few months may not be the biggest, most transformational things, but they show a direction of travel, and an ability to improve across a range of different points in the urgent and emergency care ecosystem.

What did I learn?

A couple of training sessions this week. One on a new project management tool that we’re starting to use in NHSX, and one (in my housing association non-exec director role) about carbon, and how to reduce our climate impact as a business.

What do I need to take care of?

Building mutual awareness and trust is a big part of the work of transformation in a complex and changing organisational environment. My instinct is to do this a little and often, with informal conversations in which people can get to know each other and navigate an uncertain situation together. At the same time, all those people are busy people. We need to bring just enough structure to the conversations, so that participants can see progress from one to the next.

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