Posts, page 1 of 4

Be the leader you can be - module 1

Published in notes

My boss put me forward to participate in a course called Be The Leader You Can Be, which is run by the folks at Our trainer introduced us to the concept of FED:

  • Future - where are you going?
  • Engage - Are you taking people with you?
  • Deliver - delivering through people and helping them grow

Growing your leadership covered three things:

  • Notice your energy
  • Conscious practice
  • Actively build your support team

John shared a Peter Drucker quote:

the first job of energy leader is to manage their own energy and then to help lead the energy of others

The group discussed the quote and keywords and phrases that came up were authenticity, honesty, ernegy is contagious, channel your energy, consider where your energy is sourced, e.g. home, social, work. John broadened the definition of energy by describing 4 types of energy and to consider these energies when making change:

  • physical

    • positive leaning: presence, action, pace, drive, getting things done
    • negative leaning: aggresive, chaotic, exhausting, distracting
  • intellectual

    • positive leaning: expertise, innovation, analysis, logic, challenge
    • negative leaning: paralysis, patronising, slow, unclear
  • emotional

    • positive leaning: empathy, caring, connection, vulnerability, passion
    • negative leaning: intrusive, indulgent, manipulative, emotive
  • spiritual

    • positive leaning: values, belief, ambition, purpose, cause, meaning
    • negative leaning: dogmatic, idealistic, idealogical, irrational

A group member made the point that depending on the context, it doesn't hold true that the energies can be easily categorised into positive or negative. E.g. in a prison context, you do not want to show your vulnerable side to prisoners.

We also talked about how an energy can dominate an organisation to its detriment. Leadership is required to create a space to introduce other energies.

Then we switched to 3 modes and discussed the differences between the modes:

  • leader mode

    • Focused on the "why"
    • Keywords: long-term, vision, hope, purpose, growing others, culture, relationships, inspiration, responsibility, context
  • operator mode

    • Focused on the "what"
    • Keywords: executing, taking directions, task focused, actions, short-term, repetitive, tangible, autopilot
  • manager mode

    • Focused on the "how"
    • Keywords: delegating, prioritising, planning, analysing, efficiency, directing, controlling, supervising

First jobs tend to be operator mode. Mine was a paper boy. I had well-bounded responsibility, knew exactly what I needed to do and when, performance was easy to measure,

Things I've watched over the weekend

Published in notes

This week I've taken the time to watch a few things and write a tweet thread that proved popular.

Inquiry: Challenges In Implementing Digital Change

First up, was the Public Accounts Committee inquiry into Challenges In Implementing Digital Change. The committee used the written evidence well to ask the witness well-formed questions. Yet one member demonstrated the lack of understanding that one of the pieces of evidence opened with:

"We draw attention to the lack of awareness and understanding across senior levels in government (both politicians and civil servants) about what ‘digital transformation’ actually is." - CDC0001 - Challenges in implementing digital change

Dan Carden MP, instead of using the evidence to fill in his knowledge gaps, gave his ideas on how to implement digital change:

Surely starting every system from scratch in one department and the numbers of failures we've seen, if you were creating a system from the beginning wouldn't you set one system up across government - video

Overtime, we've learnt small is generally better (don't prematurely optimise though). But thanks for your ideas Dan.

The whole inquiry is worth a watch. The witnesses do well, which is encouraging, yet frequent naive questions or points made by the committee somewhat proves the point of the inquiry. Ironic.

Consciously Hybrid, the film

I found this film via Tech Market View, who reviewed the Netflix-style documentary:

The film does indeed capture very well the challenges organisations face as they attempt to juggle legacy debt alongside new cloud platforms, and the dual IT environments these create.

HPE have a shiny manifesto too, which does repeats the themes many people say in the public sector, yet nothing gets done about them, e.g. "Current challenges such as legacy procurement and budget processes that are predominantly focussed on capital expenditure, only perpetuate the budget drain caused by legacy IT."

I was nodding at everything Tracey Jessup (CDIO of UK Parliament) was saying... "Work with treasury to think how to alter the Green Book and make sure it can best meet what's needed in the current cloud environment whilst also hitting everything it needs to around transparency for the public and the treasury."

The documentary features many more public sector people. Good to know there's a growing consensus on what the major systemic blockers to digital transformation are.

Suggestion: formally detach the DDaT function from Civil Service pay controls

I did a tweet thread! And it picked up some interest. What do you think Central Digital and Data Office (CDDO)?

Highlights of speaking workshop

Published in notes

I've made a pact with Bex last week to write a blog post if she did (and she did). So here's my last minute contributions on a brilliant speaking workshop I attended a few weeks back run by Dylan.

Eleven of us from various bits of MoJ D&T were hosted by Dylan on Zoom over 2 days, 5 hours each day. Dylan ran a few warm-up exercises to get us all limbered up, then eased into the topics.

A few highlights for me were:

  • threat model what could go wrong with connecting with your audience
  • a good talk lasts around 18 minutes according to TED. Go longer if you're telling a good story.
  • Dylan met Peter Hintjens, which triggered a memory of Peter's blog post A Protocol for Dying (he underwent voluntary euthanasia a few months after publishing)
  • learning about @reverentgeek
  • if presenting at home, smarten yourself up and present standing up
  • thoroughly entertained and educated by the 3 minute talks the 11 other attendees gave
  • takes a lot of time to put together a 3 minute talk with or without slides. becomes easier with practice

Now I need to put what I learnt into practice!

Find out more about the speaking workshop on Dylan's website. I wholeheartedly recommend.