Weeknotes 19th June

Eloise said — ‘I’m going to have it extra spicy, and started squeezing the pepper’

I’m writing weeknotes as I go this week at the end of each day this week…


I’m quite calm about the session we have tomorrow, it’s with a potential 200 people from across government who are passionate about change. Though all day I’ve had a hungry feeling in my stomach. This means tomorrow could be nerve wracking, we will see. I want to add names her as someone helped me make use some ducks were in a row, they are now though the tec is going to be fun – particularly post workshop admin, still just because it’s going to be a pigs ear for me doesn’t mean I need to make it so for the people joining. We had about 78 acceptances this evening, were running the same session on Thursday at a different time of the day. In the end I went with one of Peter Block’s questions from his brilliant (as far as I can tell from skipping about in it) book on community.

I’m all over my email (from 4–7) at the moment, as I don’t want to be a bottleneck for anyone wanting to join-in on the discussion, but this means I seem not to be getting into Trello. I’m going to have to get back on top of that.

We had a great team planning session, not that we planned or the whole team was there, but it was a great opportunity to catch up on everything a bit, so much going on in comms and engagement which is where I sit at the mo. I’m also enjoying using a tool I haven’t used before, weather or not I get to share that joy will be determined by different people who deal with IT security in Cabinet Office, James Arthur Cattell was super helpful in pointing me where to go and working out things, I just need to ask questions of people now. The data is held in the US so I think it’s only a maybe, but I hope we can.

I also ‘helped’ sort out some other things, by ‘helped’ I mean undo the over complicated nature that I had got myself and then others into.


I have a mild headache. It was almost inevitable. I’ll take myself of for a walk tomorrow, the weather will determine who comes.

We had a 100 people on the first call today which was great, were running another session the same on Thursday, and we have done them at different times of the day, I’m still really keen that we get into acynronus working. That said I’ve still not been into Trello. I had another chat with Andrea, this time it was just the two of us, lots to think about, much scribbling and thinking. At the end though I must say I felt a bit sad, it almost felt like an exit interview, not that I would know what one felt like. I have many more thoughts buzzing round my head.

I’m on top of the inbox though it does take a while, the group is now at about 230 people, which is great. Said tool is great for me. I’m very much looking forward to tomorrow’s OneTeamGov session on diversity, it really is important that we get this right even if that means getting it wrong and learning in the process.

With any luck the first survey will go out tomorrow, and it will be good to get even more thoughts. We have been exploring how we can do this more deliberately and I got to join one of the three suppliers chats today. It made me think about funnels and the Geovation process which I admired as they are aiming for services, maybe we could take the same approach, maybe I should set up a chat.

I also think that some advice we had is wrong, so I need to send an email about that, it’s niggling at me. Lots of other loose threads flying around, which I need to either catch or point out to someone else, or on the other hand just keep making more lose threads.

At one point today I thought it was Thursday.


Eloise and I went for a walk, it wasn’t raining though a little storm cloud appeared when I wouldn’t give Eloise the finger bun from the bakers. I should no better than to by food at the beginning of a walk. We made it down to Croxley Common Moor which was lovely, hunting bugs interrupted the cloud.

I’m still on top of the inbox :)
Not on top of Trello :(
Not sure if I’m focused in the right place — but I’m focused and that feels good, dam-it sometimes you just have to give in to what you know is right and just go with what the brain wants and many other people think is right. Still I’m noticing where things are just about slipping through, and that doesn’t feel like David at his best.

Grade — right this is going to be a rant of sorts — to me about me. I went to one meeting today and I definitely felt like I wasn’t wanted, all that was required was the most senior person — I very nearly left on the spot. I found it very frustrating, I’m here because I have expertise. I went to another meeting that I definitely shouldn’t have been at, I did wonder when I used that colour on the appointment, it was with a group of very senior people, not only was I not marched out of the room the most senior person asked my views — I did not give them — other than in chat at the end. Why am I so conflicted and constrained, how do we as a Civil Service get over this — is it time to abolish grades?

Other than that it’s been another day split in two. Mainly OneTeamGov in the am, it’s great to have the conversation on diversity going in ernest, it has been a long time coming — but I feel now like it is one of the goals that we will meet this year. I wonder though who would want to lead on it, all I can say is it’s not me (if my brain serves me right it was Nour Sidawi or James Arthur Cattell when we had the chat about goals). That said I really want to give up leading on anything — any offers (comes with a pair of willing admin hands)?

The afternoon became the evening. I’ve stopped doing my timesheet — I find this very liberating not to be doing that — I find it weighs me down, I work harder it feels when I don’t measure me in any way, and I also find it easier to rest, very peculiar.

Right time to put out the bin.


I woke up, I looked at twitter. Amanda had liked this https://twitter.com/msnramani/status/1273003757270335488?s=21 and from it I found this https://www.racialequitytools.org/resourcefiles/mcintosh.pdf I hadn’t read it before it’s defintly worth a read.

Someone in the team shared this — a different one — but I really like the way they have done them. Like the ladder. https://twitter.com/msnramani/status/1273003757270335488?s=21

I helped facilitate a workshop with the people from across government who are committed to change, about 88 people joined. It was wonderful to the the very geniuses of something, I feel the need to tread very lightly.

I did an outline for a session at Civil Service Online, and the slides for the group, and had a chat with some lovely people. I got back on top of email (now have two inboxes). Still not touched Trello just started using post-its again for stuff to do — feels lovely (so looking forward to not hot desking in July). I didn’t chat to my Mum and Dad for the second night in a row.

Right it’s time for the tooth fairy to call :)


Odd day, highs and lows but ending on a high, or is it a low. Eloise is currently melting down — lets see. Maybe it’s time for a walk, I’ve not today. I’ve also not been in Trello.

Collective effort to do some slides and a survey, I really work best with others, bouncing things around in my head doesn’t you may be surprised to here make slides.

I had some lovely chats in the am, and following one I went fully pumped into another — which helped but I lost all my thinking as their was no space which is a little disappointing. I helped out on a workshop design but my main focus is the Champions Network — yes finally by the end of the week a label I’m ok with, though Champions needs work but given everything else was in flux something had to stay the same — sorry Nour Sidawi

I also had a very strange chat — the line wasn’t great, and in the end I think it was just a chat that someone else wanted to have with me but didn’t have the time.

And in summing up…

As I go faster and further I reflect less
I’m not using trello, and my screen is a mess, of tabs and posits
I like weeks like this, but I prefer not to sustain them
I’ve found a balance between top down and not




Working from Defra in the Future Farming and Countryside Programme, OneTeamGov and UKGovCamp. Government romantic and lover of tea

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Working from Defra in the Future Farming and Countryside Programme, OneTeamGov and UKGovCamp. Government romantic and lover of tea

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