in Weeknotes

Weeknotes #133 — Cycling Club

An unusual week, not least because I finally made it back to my office in London after a year and half of working from home. To be back felt simultaneously novel and familiar; it’s amazing how quickly we adapt when things change.

On Monday I felt very run down and tired, and wondered if it was because I had been overdoing my riding and running. Cycling around Silverstone had been much tougher than I expected. I lost a lot of salt, and other than the one electrolyte-filled drink that I brought with me and drank as I cycled, I didn’t do anything to replenish it. Things improved throughout the week, but I never managed to properly catch up with rest.

This was a week in which I:

  • Spent time face-to-face with our CIO and a couple of my peers to assess where we are and to start to form ideas about where we need to go in the next few months. Two hours was just long enough to get lots of material out of our heads. The next steps are to let it brew a little and then try to shape it in the coming weeks.
  • Started to deal with some end-user issues relating to Azure Information Protection. We’ve put it in place primarily as a ‘speed bump’ to protect against data loss with external parties, but my gut is telling me that we need to provide more training than we have done so far. A small number of people have mentioned issues to me, but I am sure the pain is being felt more widely as I know most people work around problems without reporting them.
  • Took part in a discussion on how we protect material non-public information in one of our key systems.
  • Had a couple of meetings with sub-teams on the big group programme to discuss where our part of the organisation is and what our plans are for the next few months.
  • Reviewed the cost structure for the big programme with our internal team.
  • Delivered a talk to our Engineering team an internal body of knowledge that our staff should aspire to learn. I’ve put together a document with an outline that I am hoping the team will collectively own and update.
  • Took part in the launch of ‘Team Effectiveness’ training and coaching being run for our team. We’ll each be completing a CliftonStrengths profile and using this as an entry point for broader conversations about how we work as a team. The group delivering the training and coaching seem to be very good and I am sure that we will get something out of it, even if I am a skeptic about the validity of this kind of assessment and profiling.
  • Got back on top of my work emails, getting them down to less than 100 for the first time in a few years.
  • Joined a number of webinar ‘town hall’-style meetings, including one with the leadership team of our Wholesale Division, one with the CEO of our Angola office and another with our Group CTO.
  • Had a random coffee with a colleague from our Wealth Management division in London.
  • Reviewed and discussed the IT service agreement for our school, prior to its planned renewal in a few weeks’ time.
  • Attended Governors and Inspection training hosted by Helen Jones at The Training Centre by Aspire. An incredibly useful two hours, but left me feeling the weight of all of the things we need to get done in the next few weeks.
  • Along with my eldest son, joined Berkhamsted Cycling Club after going out for a trial ride on Saturday morning. I’d been thinking about joining the club since it was set up a few years ago, but it always seemed pointless as my family commitments meant I wouldn’t be able to join the club rides. I’m really pleased that my eldest boy and I have found something that we can do regularly together. The club members couldn’t have been more welcoming, and it will be worth forgoing a lie-in on a Saturday to get out riding with them.
  • Ran the line for my youngest son’s first football match of the new season. Great to start with a victory, particularly as he is now playing 11-a-side on a seemingly giant pitch.

  • Watched an incredible weekend of sport, with Emma Raducanu’s stunning US Open victory and a thrilling Italian Grand Prix.
  • Realised I have a major book problem. I have around 1,400 purchased unread books, plus over 2,000 in my wish list. A book was recently released that highlights that if we are lucky we only have around 4,000 weeks on the planet. I think I’m going to need to drastically prioritise.

Next week: Another day in the London office, meeting old friends and hosting Album Club in-person for the first time since 2019.

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