February! You are glorious! Spring, and birds and daffodils. Light and sparkle and joy. I also joined the lockdown birthday club this week and it was great! In a virtual birthday world, it was different but equally lovely and I was spoiled by friends and family sending sparkle through the airwaves. This and other events this week, including mental health day continues to bump kindness to the top of the chart and is at the forefront of my mind.
What have I been doing?
Working with teams planning for Q1 and next year. More to do and co-create within and across teams but its exciting to consider the opportunities for the public sector over the next year and often enabled by silent but powerful components.
Talking about those common components, some big headlines this week with numbers hit of users. GOV.UK Notify which sends you text messages and letters (1.6 Billion in the last 12 months and now across 4000 services), GOV.UK Pay hitting £7.1Mill taken in 2020 across 160 services, our data ethics framework enabling local governments responding to the COVID crisis.
And there is more: our Platform as a Service (PaaS) which enables public sector orgs has connected to another 100th organisation, this is a service which reduces individual organisations’s bespoke needs for back end management, and the Design System who serve all depts, every day. Our Data Standards Authority has sold out for its show and tell coming up but our Data Science Accelerator is still open to applications, sign up! Well done to all our teams!
We are continually proving the value of our data standards and normalising of process flow to enable more pacey, agile and relevant access to share ever more datasets around the public sector to support the COVID response.
Clearly I’m not making all this magic myself, that is what our teams do: I just am very lucky to be in a role to conduct a very talented orchestra!
I spent much of this week thinking and delving into leadership models with other new Directors to the Civil Service. This was useful reflection time: to pause and consider how effective I am, and could be and my styles. One of our new leader’s mentioned in his intro speech a book which I’ve read (handy its about the Royal Navy and submarines too) but its about servant leadership, empowering others. This is a great short infographic of the book’s intent: “Turn the Ship Around.”
I spent a wonderful day on Saturday at the TedX London Women series. Bitesize inspiring speakers looking outwards at the world, and inwards to support yourself and others. All Amongst bollywood dancing lessons, comedians and yoga. An absolutely fabulous different day in lockdown, although I’m not sure Flash was taking the dancing lesson very seriously….
What am I thinking?
One new leader joined last week, another next week. Ensuring they have all they need to onboard and be aware of all going on across teams.
Being enough of a clear umbrella for my teams, ensuring flow of communications and decisions are transparent and active. I try! (More feedback always welcomed.)
Mental wellness: self and others, teams, esp friends who have partners away, those who have spoken up.. or those who are quiet.
Kindness, and its not a sign of weakness too.