Weeknotes 19: Saying goodbye. Reflections on what I’ve learnt.

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My last weeknotes from Acas. I’m really excited to be starting my new role next week — working with Rob Miller Matthew Cain and the rest of the Hackney team.

At the end of this final week I thought I’d take the opportunity to reflect on what I’ve learnt, what I’ll miss, and write some important thank yous.

What I’ll miss (and thankyous)

People

I’ve been really lucky to work with so many great people at Acas. I’m not going to list them all — they know who they are. But a couple of group mentions. Firstly the comms team — you are a creative, lively, funny and hardworking bunch of people. Thank you all.

And of course the digital innovation team. Thank you — you are awesome to work with, and I’m so proud of everything we’ve done together.

Yesterday the first digital advice content on beta.acas.org.uk went into public beta. A brilliant feeling — and the culmination a lot of hard work by all of us in the team.

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Also this week we raised over £100 for Bromley by Bow Community Centre by holding a cake sale — beautifully conceived of, organised and named by Philippa. Thanks Philippa — and to everyone who baked for it. We’ve been volunteering with them for the past few months – I’ve loved doing this and it’s been a valuable reminders of what digital exclusion means.

Cate’s off, It’s Bake off. Nicely played Philippa.

I also want to say a huge thankyou to the wider digital community — for all the help, support, encouragement you’ve given me (and the team) over the last year, and to our Transform, Methods and Digi2al colleagues who’ve come in and helped us deliver, working alongside us as #oneteam, and sharing your knowledge and experience with us. Thankyou.

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Place*

I’ll miss walking through Regents Park on the way to work. It takes me an extra 15mins to get off a stop early and I didn’t do it enough (I was too often in a hurry). When I did it was a peaceful, thoughtful start and/or/end to the day.

So a learning point for me: making time for this sort of thing makes me more productive in the long run. So I should do it.

What have I learnt?

(note: none of the following is a new discovery but it is some of my key learnings)

Be bold. Thank you Janet Hughes you and others in the digital community inspired me to do all sorts of new things at Acas.

Change takes bravery, energy and resilience. And I am brave, energetic and resilient. See Helen Bevan and One Team Gov for so much inspiration on this.

Start small, stay focussed and show the thing. If you’re stretched too thinly, pulled in too many directions, you won’t be as effective.

Working in the open works. See Matt Jukes for great wisdom on this.

Yoga works for me. I need to make time for it regularly.

and lastly:

Regardless of what we discover, we understand and truly believe that everyone did the best job they could, given what they knew at the time, their skills and abilities, the resources available, and the situation at hand.

This, from Norm Kerth (and referenced recently in Ellie Craven’s excellent weeknotes) is really hard to live up to. Things that are worth living up to often are. I try, but I don’t always manage it. I’m going to try harder.

Playlist

Sam Villis often includes great playlists in her weeknotes — so inspired by her I thought I’d include a song I heard again recently which I love, and which inspires me.

*Things I will not miss

I will not miss the confused heating/AC system in the office. Not at all. But I will miss the views from the 22nd floor.

I will also not miss the lifts breaking.

Broken lift.

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