Weeknotes s1 w4 w/e 19 June 2020

I promised you an update on the team sustainability meeting prior to Board discussion on the topic — all new ground for everybody- which was interesting. The experiment worked for me. I didn’t end up with much pre-match participation in the collaboration I had planned, but there were reasons around that (possibly not enough time, a lack of familiarity and a lack of confidence in the subject matter) and it didn’t impede an effective conversation. Within 5 minutes, I stuck to my 30 mins goal (a good thing too — much too late in the day — no one seems at their creative peak close to tea time). Lots to take away from it — how we better share what we are doing already (it’s more than most of us realised!) and also a really helpful conversation around the internal appetite for change already there and how we best nurture that. I’ll keep experimenting with the pre-meeting collaboration tools / synchronous/asynchronous piece in coming weeks.

We shall see how we go with the Board on Monday. My presentation is going to be reshaped a fair amount as a result of that conversation — which is good. I need to make sure I circle back to that group and show them it did make a difference — conscious of the need to show it wasn’t just another “talking shop”. Too many of those around currently!

I have been thinking more about our data needs, and our data maturity this week. One thing which came out of this was unexpected was uncovering a hidden bias — when I think of data I default to thinking of it as historical. Hmm — the curse of the recovering accountant perhaps. I’ve had many thousands of hours training in historic data boot camp. All good — but right now I need to be devoting more time on forecasting because of, and not despite, the uncertainty. I think that’s one of the key differentiators that marks organisations which thrive and which don’t.

I’ve also concluded that a piece of software I have introduced here a few years ago has had its day and it’s time to end that project. Surprisingly easy in the end, with a small tinge of nostalgia for my fond hopes I held when the project started. But we (I) didn’t get the need enough for data to be integrated at the time, and the walled garden approach it demands is just too big a problem. I’m happy to say goodbye to the silos it has created though. And weirdly liberated from it. Didn’t realise I was dreading carrying on with using it.

Phrase of the week — firebreaks. Thank you Neil Tamplin! Badly needed in the day! Will book those in next week. Not negotiable any more.

We’ve started to have those earnest, earthy and uncomfortable conversations internally in response to Black Lives Matter and the need to finally get to grips properly with our equality and diversity plans. It’s good to have it centre stage. The challenge is keeping it there. This article I have found I think says it so much better than I ever could. Ending with leaving that here…


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Experienced Chief Finance Officer -track record in Welsh social housing and third sector. Chartered Accountant (FCA BFP). Views my own - my space for blogging.

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