in Weeknotes

Weeknotes #141 — Voyage to Mars

Clocks in the UK went back by an hour at the weekend, which means that mornings will be a little brighter for a few weeks. The downside is that it is already dark at five o’clock. I’ve always liked the winter months. The cooler temperatures have been great for walking from Euston to my office in the City of London without feeling too hot and bothered by the time I get there. Now that I’m no longer paying for a season ticket, it saves me a £2.40 tube fare every time I walk.

It felt like a big week work-wise, with some thoughts about how I need to spend my time differently to make a bigger impact on the organisation. I need to find some time in the coming weeks to articulate what’s in my head and see if it can be turned into something actionable.

This was a week in which I:

  • Put together a short pitch deck for how we want to change a fundamental experience for our clients, and presented it in a three-hour ‘reboot’ session at the end of the week. The work is part of the big group programme we are participating in. My colleague who would usually deliver the presentation was on holiday, so it fell to me. Unfortunately I had lost the notes I made last week and so had to put together the materials from memory. It went well, but it looks as though we are going to need to think more about how we can do the work ourselves instead of someone else taking the ball and running with it.
  • Attended a Design Authority meeting for the big group programme.
  • Had another detailed discussion on the prerequisites for moving to Teams telephony in two of our country offices. Agreed a long list of actions to follow up on ahead of the next meeting on Monday, and tried to close out on the ones that I own.
  • Reviewed the terms and conditions for a compliance audio recording vendor.
  • Agreed an approach for cutting over to Teams telephony in the office where we already have a project in progress.
  • Met with Internal Audit to discuss our approach to Cybersecurity and IT Risk.
  • Took part in a management team workshop as part of the CliftonStrengths programme that we are participating in.
  • Had another one-to-one coaching session. I’m enjoying the interactions and having the time to reflect.
  • Saw plans that the team have made to make our office guest Wi-Fi accessible through a QR code that will be shown on the desktop background on our staff laptops.
  • Attended an interesting internal presentation on IT Operations.
  • Watched a webinar on using the LeanKit advanced reporting API via PowerBI.
  • Caught up with almost all of my random paper notes accumulated through meetings in the past couple of weeks, and resolved yet again not to leave it too long before getting through them in the future.
  • Renewed my website hosting for another three years. It feels expensive to do it in one go, but given that this site has been around since 2004 I’m unlikely to give up the writing and posting habit just yet. SiteGround have been brilliant since I moved there three years ago. This time they gave me a referral link valid throughout this month for three months’ free hosting for anyone that uses it.
  • Got my MacBook Pro back from Apple after sending it away for a battery replacement. The laptop is four years old and the battery had started to complain and cause some erratic behaviour. £205 got me a new battery including pickup from my house by UPS, transport to the repair centre in the Czech Republic and delivery back to my house again. From a note I found in the box it looks as though they have also replaced the top part of the case that surrounds the keyboard. It feels like a new laptop and I’m very pleased.
  • Updated our school’s Pay Policy for 2021–2022 based on the new template and circulated the draft to the Governing Board.
  • Spent some time updating our draft Schedule of Financial Delegation for school. I hadn’t realised that an updated template existed for this until I stumbled across it. We’re broadly in-line, but will need to review a couple of key changes at our next meeting.
  • Plunged into sharing a couple of recent blog posts on LinkedIn. It’s been interesting; there is a much longer tail of interaction than when sharing on Twitter. I had been nervous as it felt as though I was making a link between my work and personal lives, but the experience was a positive one. It was lovely to have a couple of people that I could talk through the pros and cons with before trying it out.
  • Took a trip to Deco Audio with a friend who is in the market for a hi-fi. Sadly the budget didn’t quite stretch to the £26,000 Avantgarde Acoustic Uno XDs. There’s something special about going to a hi-fi shop that makes me feel like a kid again.

  • Had a lovely night out for dinner at Zaza in Berkhamsted with some old friends. I haven’t laughed so much in a long time.
  • After the washout of last weekend, got out and about again for a cycle club ride. A friend joined us for a trial ride and he’s keen to sign up so hopefully I’ll see lots more of him in the future.

  • Ran the line at my youngest boy’s football match. It was quite a big loss, but fun nonetheless.

  • Have been enjoying Munya’s new album Voyage to Mars which came out this week. Looking forward to getting a vinyl copy sometime next year.

  • Finished season 2 of Ted Lasso. The characters are so brilliant and we’ve thoroughly enjoyed it.

Next week: Another busy one with two more days in the office, plenty of work meetings and a few governor sessions too. Plus Album Club #129.

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