Weeknote: 18 to 22 July 2022

View from balcony looking down on a square with parked cars and zebra crossings, opposite is a domed Italian church with classical columned portico
View from the balcony in Treviso

I took a week’s holiday last week, visiting Venice and surrounding towns. Quite a lot happened while I was away, and I am grateful to my deputy, Jacqui, and other colleagues who handled it all without drama.

Getting off the plane at Manchester Airport, I was hit by an unexpected wall of warm air: the heatwave was well underway. Monday in the office was fine, but by Tuesday afternoon the building’s cooling systems were definitely struggling. A couple of times I retreated to meeting rooms which seemed a bit cooler than the open office.

I was proud of my colleagues this week. They managed very rapid and professional turnarounds on several last-minute requests.

On Wednesday, I presented the team’s initial thinking on digital strategy to the Urgent and Emergency Care Strategy Steering Board (all credit to Barbara and Brin for the preparation and pre-reading). There were good questions and challenges from senior colleagues, which we can use to shape the next steps on this work.

Alongside all this, there were intermittent discussions about on-going organisation changes, and how they affect the work my teams are doing. We’re entering “tag team” season where I’ll be on leave one week, and the people I need to talk to the next. That’s going to make navigating the changes a bit tricky, but I’m confident things are heading in the right direction.

This week I was thinking about how product teams all want to be outcome-oriented, but when they’re just starting out it can seem like an irregular verb:
  • We are outcome-driven
  • You are solutionising
  • They are pursuing a vanity project!
We’ve got to have empathy and assume good intent in other teams before we can align on shared outcomes.

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