Weeknotes #85 — Breathe

For the first time in over three years it felt like a quiet week at work. I was grateful to have the space to breathe.

A week in which I:

  • Finally, FINALLY caught up with my emails. I had over 5,000 to get through, and the concern that there was something important in there had been hanging over me for a while. It took me a couple of days but I am now down to less than 250. The bad news is that each of these 250 need some kind of action.
  • Leveraged the wonderful WB-40 podcast WhatsApp group in the hunt for our next Head of Infrastructure and Operations. I’ve had so much value from the group over the years; there’s a lot of banter but people are so quick to go out of their way to help.
  • Took part in a couple of vendor meetings relating to key parts of our infrastructure that are underperforming. We have good relationships and agreed a plan between us that we have already started executing.
  • Met another vendor to get a technical overview of their cloud-enabled printing solution.
  • Spent some time with a newly-recruited peer to show them how we use LeanKit.
  • Had a half-hour ‘random coffee’ with someone from our office that I had never previously spoken to. We covered some interesting topics in our chat such as Social, Economic and Environmental business and how this will be balanced against other more traditional work in the future.
  • Attended the first school Full Governing Board meeting of the new academic year. I was voted in as Vice Chair again. It’s an honour to serve in the role, but I do need to spend some time this year on succession planning.
  • Took part in Herts for Learning’s Chair’s Strategic Information Briefing. The quality of support, insight and training that we get from HfL is superb, and I feel lucky that we have had a long and fruitful partnership with them. There was a massive amount of information passed on during the update which will take some time to digest. Managing Director Andrew de Csilléry presented HfL’s very strong anti-racism stance in response to the Black Lives Matter movement, and quickly responded to comments in the meeting chat relating to everyone already having equality.
  • Took the younger boy to his football match on Sunday and ran the line. As the months get colder, it’s always better to have a job at a match than to just stand around with the spectators. We lost 10-1 against a team of giants, but the boys played well and the autumn sun was lovely.
  • Finally finished Imagine John Yoko, the big hardback coffee-table book that was released with the 50th anniversary Imagine album reissues. I grew up in Ascot, not far from the Tittenhurst Park property where the album was recorded and which features so heavily in the photos in the book. It’s a beautiful thing, with lots of detail on that little slice of time in John and Yoko’s life.
  • Loved the F1 Eifel GP. I’m not sure if it’s lockdown getting to me, but this year I seem to find myself paying attention to F1 practice sessions as well as qualifying and the race. The cars only being able to run for an hour on Saturday morning presented an interesting challenge and added to anticipation of the race.

Next week: Planning for a management offsite, thinking about the key deliveries for the remainder of the year, interviewing and a school governor Pay Committee meeting.

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